Marijuana Grow Houses
Just wondering what are your guys' experiences with house fires where you find a dope grow inside?
A recent incident at a neighboring district brought this problem front and center for us. Imagine responding to a house fire and after your 360 you attempt to make entry. Upon opening the door you find a wall. That's right, the door was fake with a solid wall behind it to conceal what was inside. Could you imagine making entry through another door expecting the false door to be a secondary egress point? Then if you needed to bail out you'd be screwed.
Things like this are more and more common in my area. It could easily be a house in your neighborhood. People rent a house specifically for the purpose of growing dope. The landlord turns a blind eye because the renters are willing to pay a higher price for them to look the other way. They maintain the exterior to appear as a normal family dwelling complete with toys in the lawn, cars in and out and left overnight etc.
Some things that have been found are overloaded and sub-standard wiring, all sorts of chemicals you wouldn't expect in a dwelling, hidden basements, false walls, power meters that have been bypassed etc.
The hazards can be worse in the outlying areas. Generators buried underground to conceal the noise, booby traps to ward off thieves etc. I know of one individual that got caught with an entire shipping container used to grow dope burried on his property with an access through a shed.
If it's a marijuana grow house, I think we'd first take off our masks. :D j/k
But seriously, if the place just isn't right, then try and control the fire from the exterior. Make sure FFs are trained what to look for and that they ARE looking for it. Do these things during training so it becomes second nature. Stay alert, stay alive!
Philly lost 2 firefighters a few years ago when they got tangled in all the extension cords in the basement.
This months Fire Engineering has an article by Bill Gustin on just this topic. Sorry FH...:o
This loss was also compounded by the fact that the City's brand-new "top shelf, multi-million dollar" radio system failed (yet once again....) Wont mention any manufacturer's names but it starts with an "M."
Originally Posted by dragonfyre