Firefighters work to extinguish a fire on Waring Road in South Wellington, where a legal grow op burned up late Sunday and early Monday. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Legal grow op burns up overnight south of Nanaimo

Possible electrical malfunction destroys marijuana crop and equipment

Volunteer firefighters battled for several hours to put out a blaze that destroyed a marijuana grow operation south of Nanaimo overnight.

Firefighters from Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department responded to the call-out just before midnight Sunday and were assisted by North Cedar Fire Department at the fire that started in a 20-metre by 10-metre metal building on a property on Waring Road, located in South Wellington south of Nanaimo.

Ron Gueulette, Cranberry VFD chief, said the fire destroyed the contents of the structure, which was a legal marijuana grow operation.

“It’s totalled,” Gueulette said. “Well, the building’s still good, but the contents are totalled.”

He said firefighters had to mount an external defensive attack to knock down the flames and were at the scene for several hours. Cranberry firefighters returned mid-morning Monday to knock down hot spots that had reignited.

Gueulette said the cause of the fire was still undetermined, but was possibly due to an electrical malfunction.

“It’s pretty hard to tell, but there wasn’t anybody in the building and the only things that were running was the grow lights and some ventilation systems,” he said.

The value of the crop and equipment was given a rough estimate by the property owner of about $80,000 and RCMP members who attended the scene confirmed that the operation was legal.

No one was injured.

Nanaimo RCMP confirmed the facility was a legal marijuana grow operation.

“Officers attended, as did fire crews and B.C. Hydro,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo spokesperson in an e-mail. “Confirmed as a legal grow operation with appropriate documentation … preliminary investigation found no evidence of foul play.”



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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