ANTIOCH -- Nearly 1,000 marijuana plants and equipment used to cultivate them were seized by police from a house that caught fire Tuesday night, authorities said.
Police took 960 plants out of the two-story house in the 4500 block of Hidden Glen Drive after serving a search warrant on the home hours after fire crews put out the blaze, Antioch police Sgt. Tony Morefield said. The one-alarm fire began in a wall behind a fuse box around 9 p.m., and fire crews put out the blaze within minutes, fire Inspector Steve Aubert of the Contra Costa Fire Protection District said.
Police were called after firefighters found marijuana plants inside as well as other evidence of a grow house, Aubert said. The damage to the house was limited to the wall where it began, Aubert said.
Nobody was injured.
"What's fortunate is that it was a brand new home, and it contained a sprinkler system," Aubert said. "That kept the fire to its point of origin. The damage was very, very minimal."
Police were still investigating the case and did not reveal whether the house was occupied by residents or if it was abandoned. It was not yet known who owned the home.
Morefield said the house had a "large-scale" grow operation.
According to Aubert, the fire began in a wall behind a fuse box where wiring had been installed to bypass detection by any utility company. Investigators were trying to determine the cause, but Aubert said a wire may have sparked.
Anyone with information is urged to call Antioch police at 925-779-6895.
Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.