San Diego firefighters responding to a garage fire stumbled on an illegal marijuana grow and a dozen dogs inside a Chollas Creek home.
Police said they found a 3-month old baby living inside the home on Auburn Drive along with 60 to 80 marijuana plants, 13 puppies and 3 adult dogs.
Firefighters were called to the home for a garage fire around 11:30 p.m. Monday.
Authorities say poor wiring started the electrical fire in the garage. The flames did not reach the inside of the home where officers found dozens of marijuana plants in 5-gallon pots, with grow lights and fans.
The puppies were living in one of the bedrooms.
Because all of the bedrooms were utilized for the dogs and grow operation, the family of 3 was living in the front family room and kitchen, officers said.
SDPD Lt. Mark Bennett said the father was taken into custody and the infant was transported to Rady Children's Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. The child's mother accompanied the baby to the hospital but she also may face charges, the lieutenant said.
“Based on the wiring and that the house was basically set up for the marijuana grow and that did endanger that child so yes, the parents are looking at charges for child endangerment,” Bennett said.
Officers with the San Diego County Department of Animal Services removed a number of Yorkies, Bulldogs and Doberman Pinschers from the home.
The owners have until Oct 15 to pick up their animals. If they do not pick up the dogs, the animals will be available for adoption.
Officers earlier identified the operation as a puppy mill but animal county officials believe the homeowner was legally selling the dogs.
"There is no law to the number of puppies that you can have as long as they're humanely cared for," said Dan DeSousa with the Department of Animal Services.
Narcotics officers seized the marijuana plants.
“The parents were quite freaked out and we did not know at the time why the father was so nervous,” Bennett said.
Personnel with the county's Child Welfare Services will also conduct an investigation.