Courts & Crime

Fire leads to discovery of big marijuana operation in Alaska

Firefighters discovered charred pot plants and powerful lights at a burning Hillside house Monday, according to Anchorage police, who are now investigating what they described as a massive marijuana growing operation.

Fire engines and tankers rushed to the frame house on Upper DeArmoun Road about 5:30 p.m. Monday when a neighbor reported seeing smoke and flames, police said.

Another neighbor, Glenn Hudson, said the flames were shooting up more than 20 feet from the top of the two-story house, its vaulted roof and attic.

Firefighters had the blaze under control within about 45 minutes. That's when they asked for one of the two officers doing traffic control to come up to the house, said police spokesman Lt. Dave Parker.

"They said, 'It looks like a dope grow,' " Parker said. "A bunch of it had been destroyed in the fire, but there were still large pots with 18-inch plants and grow lights."

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