Pot house discovered after fire in New River

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

NEW RIVER, Ariz. -- Detectives are investigating a fire at an apparent "grow house" in New River Thursday morning.

Daisy Mountain firefighters were called out to a relatively isolated large home northeast of Interstate 17 and Carefree Highway near the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area at about 7 a.m.

"When they went into this room that was on fire in this house, they found about 12 marijuana plants and hydroponics and everything needed to be a grow house," Sgt. Brandon Jones of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office told 3TV's Javier Soto and Yetta Gibson shortly after 9:30 a.m.

Firefighters immediately called in sheriff's deputies.

Jones said one person was at the house when both firefighters and deputies arrived.

"She'll be detained and questioned," he said.

According to Jones, that woman is a caretaker. She said she heard a pop and smelled smoke. She immediately ran out of the house and called the fire department.

Aerial video from the Fort McDowell Casino News Chopper showed firefighters on the roof of the house next to a large hole.

Crews contained the flames to one room.

"That was the room with these 12 plants," Jones said. Firefighters described the cultivation setup in the room as "elaborate."

Deputies have not had the chance to search the rest of the house yet so they don't know how big the grow operation is.

"We're still waiting to go in and find out what may be in these other rooms," Jones said.

No injuries were reported. According to the caretaker, the homeowners are on vacation.

It's not clear what sparked the fire.