law enforcement

Firefighters Discover Hundreds of Marijuana Plants in Rialto Home

When firefighters responded to a structure fire call Friday afternoon, they discovered more than just flames inside a Rialto home.

When firefighters gained access inside the two-story home, located on the 2500 block of North Quince Avenue, they discovered at least 200 marijuana plants in just about every room.

"It's a shock to me," said Mike Vidana, neighbor. "I didn't know that was going on next door."

According to Rialto police, the renter doesn't live in the house -- instead, it has been transformed into an indoor marijuana grow.

The fire started after an electrical panel burst into flames. The renter tried to bypass the meter to steal electricity, police said. Doing so is dangerous, firefighters said, and puts neighboring homes at risk.

"We were just able to catch the fire in time before it grew out of control," said Rialto Battalion Chief Art Poduska.

Marijuana grow houses have become a growing problem for law enforcement all across Southern California, police said.

Cheryl Wade, a neighbor, is concerned about the dangers.

"I think these days most people think nothing of marijuana," she said. "So I think to a lot of people, it's not troubling. To me, it's horrifying that kind of operation obviously attracts unwanted, from my perspective, to the neighborhood."

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