NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Officials responding to a call about a fire at a mobile home in Northwest Miami-Dade discovered a hydroponics lab in the charred remains, Monday morning.
The fire broke out just before 6 a.m., Monday, on Northeast 79th Street and 36th Avenue. Crews responded to the scene and quickly put out the flames.
Video captured the owner of the mobile home standing by the entrance as thick, black smoke was seen billowing behind him. Neighbor Maria Tesoro is heard asking him in Spanish to move away from the structure, but he is heard saying that he used water to fight the flames and that there is no fire, only smoke.
“My daughter woke up and was going to school when she saw smoke coming out of the trailer,” said Tesoro through a translator.
“The fire had been sort of kept under control by the owner/occupant,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Danny Cadeso.
The homeowner, who was wearing a turquoise blue T-shirt and dark-colored shorts, was seen going in and out of the home, even after Miami-Dade Fire Rescue arrived. He is seen continuing to follow the firefighters closely inside the residence.
At one point, responding crews had to push the homeowner out of the entrance. He made it out without any injuries.
When the sun came up, firefighters were seen breaking through a wall, and that’s when, police said, they found a hidden room in the back of the trailer filled with marijuana plants.
Officials also said the electrical current in that room was rigged, which suggests the homeowner may have been getting power from another source. “Anytime that these trailers, homes, any type of structure is illegally converted to grow drugs, there’s all kinds of illegal wiring,” said Cadeso.
According to investigators, after realizing firefighters had discovered the hydroponics lab, the homeowner suddenly disappeared. Police remained at the scene, Monday evening, and are waiting for the occupant to return.
Officials have not specified how many plants were found or their street value.
Neighbors said the homeowner is the only one who lives inside the mobile home.
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