COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio --
Investigators uncovered a secret inside the home where two Colerain Township firefighters were killed Friday.
They found a hidden room inside the basement, accessible only by pushing on a panel, where investigators said they discovered marijuana plants.
The homeowners, Matt Cones and Sharyn Meyer, also grew orchids there under high-powered lamps.
"It's just like everything else, people gossip," said Jack Jones, a longtime friend who worked at the skate park owned by Cones. "People say things, nobody really knows what happened."
A person close to Cones said his wife smelled smoke, and he went down to the grow room and found a high-powered lamp had caught fire.
Cones attempted to extinguish the blaze with a fire extinguisher, but it ran out and he switched to water, which the friend said made the electrical fire worse.
The first call to firefighters was automatically made after smoke triggered the home's security system, and Meyer called 911 minutes later, as firefighters were on their way.
"Matt should not be looked at negatively, because this was all an accident and that's all it was," Jones said. "Things happen, and that's all it was."
If an investigation shows the room with the marijuana contributed to the deaths of Capt. Robin Broxterman and Brian Shira, authorities said the homeowners could be charged with involuntary manslaughter.