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San Diego home where pot was grown is damaged in fire

March 29, 2009 |  1:59 pm

UPDATE 4:45 p.m.: Fire officials said 333 marijuana plants were found. Joshua Rasmussen, 28, who was asleep when firefighters arrived, was arrested on marijuana cultivation and other charges.

A home in the Mira Mesa section of San Diego caught fire today when equipment used to grow marijuana malfunctioned, authorities said.

The fire broke out in the 11200 block of Ganesta Road shortly after 5 a.m. and caused $100,000 damage to the house and $50,000 to its contents, fire officials said.

A man believed to be the home’s owner was detained, and a "very large" amount of marijuana was seized, said San Diego Police Sgt. Art Campa.

On Thursday, police in Los Angeles County seized more than 12,000 marijuana plants growing in an isolated plot of land in Schabarum Regional Park in the eastern San Gabriel Valley.

The marijuana was discovered by a hiker in the remote wilderness area on the southern side of the park, about a mile away from the nearest hiking trail.

— Garrett Therolf and Tony Perry