Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dude, You're Using Too Much Electricity

EPD Press Release:

On 4/19/11, at about 9:09 PM, the Eureka Fire Department (EFD) responded to the report of a structure fire at a warehouse on the 1800 block of
3rd Street, Eureka
after a power box on the side of the building caught fire. 

Upon arrival, EFD discovered the main power box on the southwest corner of the building had ignited, scorching the side of the building and melting the meter.  Dirt and grass had been thrown on the power box in an apparent attempt by someone to put out the fire.  The warehouse’s front door was ajar and upon the entering the building, EFD personnel discovered a large marijuana growing operation inside.  Additionally, the suspect(s) had left a white Ford F350 Superduty pick-up truck with a dog inside it parked in the warehouse.  It appeared the suspect(s) had fled the building just before EFD’s arrival. 

Eureka Police Department officers were dispatched to the scene and the Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) was subsequently called out to assist with the marijuana grow. 

POP Detectives procured and executed a search warrant for the warehouse.  The building had sustained a loss of power due to the electrical fire, so EFD set up a generator and portable lights to assist EPD with processing the all night scene.

Detectives subsequently located and seized a total of 814 marijuana plants, ranging in size from approximately 6” – 4’ tall (115.5 pounds bulk weight of “wet weed”).  The marijuana crops had been divided into 3 separate rooms serviced by a total of 28 operational 1000 watt (estimated) grow lights. It appeared the power box had likely been overloaded by the excessive, jury-rigged electrical wiring used to power the grows. 

The Ford F350 Superduty truck was backed into the warehouse and its bed contained several growing marijuana plants and spilled potting soil.  Detectives seized the truck as evidence and the abandoned dog was transported to EPD for safekeeping. 

Based on evidence found at the scene, detectives believe this was an on-going, long-term commercial (for profit) marijuana cultivation operation.  The investigation is continuing and investigators are following up on several leads that may result in one or more arrests. 


  1. It should be made public if it was a smartmeter that caught fire, working a load the analog one had been able to handle. Easy to find out, check billing records. Says it was an established ongoing long term operation.

    Imagine if that's the case! In addition to all the other legitimate complaints about Smartmeters, they also stand a chance of starting a fire! Did they warn people about this? Nope!

  2. HAHAHA, greed. Doubt the owner is anywhere near Humboldt anymore. Probably grew up in socal anyways; it's the new trend. Come to Humboldt, make tons of $ on a controlled substance, leave and spend it elsewhere.

  3. Come to America, use its resources, courts, power grids, sewers, roads, police, fire education system, safety net and then leave when you have your money.

    Sounds like some corporations I know of.
    Anonymous the second, you're so overlooking the big picture. Like pot growers are the only ones doing this to the country.

    Anon the first, you might have something worth looking at.

  4. This is an example of a business, legal or otherwise, abusing the commons and infrastructure provided by the tax payers. How are these growers much different from GE, B of A or the oil companies? They all seek to internalize profits and externalize losses. Usually the losses fall on us the tax payers. In this case they are not paying for the fire department that saved the commons and private property around them. They are scum and even left their dog to die. All in the pursuit of profits over life and everything else.

  5. Plenty of legit businesses use a shit ton of electricity. Plenty of legit businesses will increase the amount of electricity they use. Plenty of legit businesses that use a shit ton of electricity will move into Smartmetered facilities.

    Smartmeters are plastic digital gizmos. In this case, if the old meter could handle the electricity...being used for legal reasons or not...then in no uncertain terms the new and improved Smartmeter started the fire.

  6. above point can regard the legality of police involvement in drug busts as well. It's PG&E's responsibility to guarantee everybody's safety when replacing their own devices. They should have known beforehand that the new meter was not suitable for the facility.

    Regardless of whether or not it was a marijuana growing operation or a meth lab. PG&E comes to your place, starts a fire by installing substandard equipment, and for whatever reason the police have grounds to search your premesis.

  7. So far as I know no legit business has had the same problem. Could it be that businesses that know they will use a lot of watts let PG&E know this ahead of time?

    This still leaves the question of a smart meter not telling PG&E that it was being fried.

  8. "So far as I know no legit business has had the same problem. Could it be that businesses that know they will use a lot of watts let PG&E know this ahead of time?"

    Smartmeters are a new thing, being swapped out on existing facilities. And your second sentence is passing the buck, blaming any victim in real life. Obviously, breakers should pop before meters catch fire, etc. Yeah, why wasn't the meter able to have alerted headquarters first? Isn't communication what's so great about them?

    Think of the property owner in this case. He's probably being told he's SOL because it was illegal activity, not because of faulty equipment in which case he'd be properly reimbursed. How many fires like this have already happened and been kept quiet? Considering the meters are all over california already, it would be a mortal blow to PG&E.


US Senator Joe Liberman, WTC 7 Did Not Occur