Firefighters at the site of the grow op on 121B Avenue

Firefighters at the site of the grow op on 121B Avenue

Fire damages Maple Ridge grow crop

RCMP are investigating whether the grow op, on 121B Avenue in Maple Ridge, was a licenced.

Ridge Meadows RCMP are investigation an electrical fire stemming from a marijuana grow-op on Friday.

RCMP are investigating whether the grow op, on 121B Avenue in Maple Ridge, was a licenced.

Maple Ridge Fire Department chief Dane Spence said while there was minor damage to the structure, there was significant damage to the plants and equipment because of smoke and water damage.

Spence is frustrated at firefighters having to respond to grow ops, legal or otherwise.

“When someone uses the word legal grow-op to me, it doesn’t imply that it is safe,” said Spence. “When the federal government issues these licences to people, it also tells them that they must comply with all local bylaws and ordinances. When they don’t, as in this case, there is an electrical hazard.”

Spence said in most cases involving grow ops, the biggest concern is electrical overload and shoddy workmanship.

“The most basic of electrical safety procedures are never followed,” he said. “Everything from wire splices to electrical boxes are not installed with any covers or built to any semblance of code.”

Spence has no idea whether the building on Friday was legal or not, but that it was never dealt with by the City of Maple Ridge.

“This grow op was never inspected by the district of Maple Ridge electrical department or building department.”