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Pot operation discovered after faulty electricity sparks fire at East County home

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CASA DE ORO (CNS) - An East County home concealing a marijuana-growing operation was damaged Tuesday in a fire apparently sparked by a jerrybuilt and illegal electricity hookup, authorities reported.

The non-injury blaze in the 10100 block of Campo Road in Casa de Oro erupted about 9 a.m., according to the San Miguel Consolidated Fire Protection District.

After extinguishing the flames, personnel discovered a cannabis-cultivation setup, agency spokesman Leonard Villarreal said. Agents with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration were called in to investigate.

Preliminary evidence indicated that the cause of the fire was an illicit power connection to a utility pole near the residence, Villarreal said.

A dog that was inside the otherwise unoccupied house at the time of the fire was turned over to animal-control personnel.

Investigators set the structural monetary losses at $40,000.

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