While responding to a call about downed wires, firefighters discovered two grow houses in a Bronx apartment building on Thursday afternoon. A resident told News 12, "You smelled it in the building. I mean you have the doors always broken, he's got people walking in and strangers in the hallway smoking marijuana, so you don't know if they're connected to whatever is happening."
The FDNY was looking for downed wires when firefighters smelled a possible gas leak at 1 Jacobus Place in Marble Hill. The Daily News reports, "The search for the gas leak led to two mini marijuana grow houses inside two fifth-floor apartments in the building. Since grow houses need more power for heat lamps, someone snaked electrical wires through the building’s dumbwaiter up to the apartments, a source said."
Authorities removed more than 100 marijuana plants. No arrests were made, and neighbors reportedly believe the grow houses were being maintained in vacant apartments.
Illegal marijuana grow house bust in the Bronx. This is just first batch confiscated by NYPD. FDNY initially responded to high gas levels in building, traced to 2 5th floor apts. Less than mile away from where FDNY Chief Michael Fahy was killed in marijuana grow house explosion. pic.twitter.com/h27nPIJhZM
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) December 27, 2018
Residents of the fourth and fifth floor were "temporarily evacuated" as the FDNY and Con Ed inspected the building, which is located a mile from the site of a grow house explosion that killed a battalion chief in 2016.
Another neighbor was frustrated it took so long for the grow house to be busted, telling News 12, "I even told the police that and they didn't listen to me ... I told them like a year ago."
The bust comes as New York State appears poised to legalize recreational marijuana next year, though many regulatory details remain unsettled.