General Crime

* Pinole home housing an illegal marijuana grow operation cause of an early morning fire on Ramona Street

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The cause of an early morning fire at a Pinole home housing an illegal marijuana grow operation is under investigation, according to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and Pinole police. Crews from the Rodeo-Hercules Fire District and Pinole Fire Department also responded to the structure fire in the 2900 block of Ramona Street.

The blaze was reported at about 4:20 a.m. The first arriving company, a Pinole fire engine crew, reported heavy smoke coming from the front of the one-story home. Firefighters fought the blaze from the home’s interior, where officers found some 250 marijuana plants — with a street value of about $750,000 — along with grow lamps and a hydroponics system, police said.

Officers determined that PG&E service to the home had been bypassed. No one was inside and no injuries were reported. The fire caused an estimated $60,000 in damage, but firefighters were able to save the home’s living space and most of its contents, according to the fire district. A total of 19 fire personnel responded, including four engine companies, one truck company and two battalion chiefs.A fire protection district arson investigator and police detectives are investigating the fire’s cause and the associated criminal activity, police said.

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