Two busted grow ops reminders of fire, mould dangers: Burnaby RCMP

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Burnaby RCMP say two recent busts of marijuana grow-ops served as reminders of the dangers they pose to neighbourhoods.

In the first incident on June 19, Burnaby RCMP's drug section executed a search warrant on a home on Duthie Avenue in North Burnaby to dismantle a sophisticated marijuana grow operation in the basement.

During the search officers found an electrical bypass, and steel barricades on the windows and doors, causing dangerously high carbon dioxide levels. Numerous propane tanks were also found inside the house.

Not only did the electrical bypass raise the risk of fire in the house, neighbours were at risk because of the potential for the propane tanks to explode during a fire, said Burnaby RCMP Corp. Stephen Bolt.

In the second case, on the same day, a search warrant was executed on a grow-op in a three-storey, wood-framed apartment on Silver Avenue in the Metrotown area.

A grow-op related fire could have had serious consequences for the elderly, small children and those with limited mobility unable to get out of the building quickly, said Bolt.

At this grow-op police found holes in the drywall and foul air from the grow-op was being pumped into the interior structure of the building. If police hadn't discovered it when they did, there was a potential for moisture build-up in the walls resulting in dangerous black mould throughout the building.

"The public needs to know that marihuana grow operations are not safe," said Bolt. "They pose a very real danger to public safety both in the health of people who may inadvertently come into close proximity to these grow-ops, and in the risk of electrical fires and associated violent criminal behaviour."

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