residence fires are almost always caused by indoor marijuana grows in Humboldt County

Why was it that when we were unable to drive down Harrison Ave. last evening due to fire trucks and EPD cruisers blocking the way we immediately thought "some grower must have burned down another house"? Are we jaded? Well, yes, but that's beside the point.

Sure enough, this morning's Eureka Reporter contains a short article about the house fire on Harrison that was caused by "owner installed lighting and electrical equipment" in the attic where two soil beds of marijuana plants were being grown. When does a house burn down in this county that isn't the result of ghetto electrical wiring or a tipped over fan in a pot garden? It rarely happens. Growers burn down more homes in this area than any other cause, no question about it.

We should probably also point out that the house fire in McKinleyville on Friday was also the result of a gigantic, house-wide marijuana growing operation that burst into flames. This one happened while someone was there! Isn't that the purpose of having a person man your grow op, so that they can prevent unwanted events like structure fire from happening? This home was so completely converted for pot growing that some of the firefighters who entered the house to extinguish the blaze became tangled in loose wires and burned ventilation tubing. Good thing for them they are trained to escape from exactly that sort of mess.

Yeah, and people want to argue that pot growing is harmless? Combine the constant residential fires with the associated violence, burglaries, tax evasion, and environmental damage, and there's no question that we have a serious problem on our hands.

Come on Humboldt residents, let's run these destructive and greedy criminals out of our beautiful county!

<< Wacko Sues Everyone in Humboldt County ABC News Calls Arcata Marijuana Boomtown >>

By Joe Cornish, on Sep 7, 2008 - 10:30
This may be out of the area of your expertise (marijuana drug industry), but I'm new to town and I'd like some information.

I keep hearing about the meth and heroin problem, but I honestly don't recognize it. Where is it and what does it look like? Are some areas of town more affected by it than others? Are they any dangerous areas of town?

I used to live on the edge of L.A.'s skid row, so I can identify crack cocaine. I'm in the dark, however, when it comes to Eureka's hard drug problem.

The Boss

By Andy, on Sep 7, 2008 - 19:01
Shut the hell up, drive them out... they make up most of the economy, nobody would live in that crap hole if it wasn't for the fact they can grow pot... why don't all you transplants leave, and let the ones who grew up here do their thing!

Excuse me?

By Old Timer, on Sep 7, 2008 - 19:07
In case you haven't noticed it's the "transplants" that are the problem around here. My family has been here for 70 years and we don't grow pot, we work hard and pay our taxes. I seriously doubt that "Andy" is a true local, and if so, you're ruining this area as much as the person who burned that house down on Harrison. You're as bad as any grower. Get fucked "Andy"!

Danger Zones

By Authors, on Sep 8, 2008 - 7:24

Compared with L.A. our high crime areas are pretty wimpy, but they do exist. Wabash & B St is basically the hub of the drug problem in Eureka, with the surrounding area being quite unsafe, generally speaking. California & A St. (Very close by) is a notable corner because there have been a number of drive-by shootings over the years. That entire neighborhood is considered "dangerous", and pretty much everything near the bay is dangerous enough that you probably wouldn't want your wife or daughter to walk alone at any time of day or night. Also Henderson Center, although it looks nice, is supposedly very high crime. Everyone we know who lives there or used to live there has been robbed or burglarized multiple times, no exceptions. In fact, everyone we know in all of Humboldt County has been burglarized at least once. It's a part of life here, the burglar gangs are large and bold, frequently knocking over homes and vehicles in broad daylight while the owner steps out for just a moment.

Eureka seems quiet, but around every corner lurks a thief, and judging by the map of sex offenders, there are enough rapists and molesters that, well, it's not exactly the kind of place you'd want to raise a family.

The Boss

By Andy, on Sep 8, 2008 - 9:13
Im personal friends with the family that this happened to, and little do you know "old timer" that this is a horrible thing to happen to anyone regardless of the circumstances behind it. If your family has really been here that long then you should have and affinity for the fact pot if a vital part of the economy, I don't see you complaining about the Meth problem. Growing pot is not the problem it is disillusion from people like you who think it was just some pot farmer burning down another house. No it was a family who has memories and many cherished moments that happened in that house. For you to be so heartless as to say forget them all because they make money through pot which they pay taxes on also seeing how they sell legally to the clinics it is a uneducated and retarded statement for you to be boasting "I PAY TAXES" for they pay just as much if not more then you based on their situation. For you to be completely removed from the situation and unaffected by it makes me scoff at how in humane you really are. So no I'm not going to get fucked. I'm going to go to bed tonight and thank god that my nephew or my good friends were not hurt. Unlike you I know the situation in that particular house and it is heart breaking to think someone who claims love for the county could talk so coldly about another family who is going through immense hardships. I was in a house fire last year where they tried to say it was the grow op that wasn't even active. When it turned out to be the houses heating system was not up to code and caused the fire. Its a shame people try to blame it on things they don't even understand. Instead of talking shit and saying they are ruining your county, realize that the statistics online say 80% of houses in Humboldt are dedicated to grow ops. Meaning you are in the minority, perhaps you are the problem old timer... your just as bad as Hitler wishing that people burn... if you want to point fingers go look in a mirror.

the Truth

By Meth Knocker..., on Sep 8, 2008 - 9:20
What about the Methamphetamine problem? You all blame the pot but no one wants to blame the dopers for the crime problems...

what statistics

By avid reader, on Sep 8, 2008 - 12:37
huh? 80% of homes have pot growing in them? holy crap where are these supposed "statistics" you refer to Andy? last thing i heard was 1000 out of 7500 homes in arcata were grows, but now it's up to 80%. wow!

maybe if you had some real information instead of pure emotions over your friend on harrison and his apparent inability to safely wire his attic for illegal pot growing, people would take you more seriously... oh wait, no they wouldn't because you're obviously part of the problem here.

you can say it's all legal and good and that this blogs writers should leave and blah blah blah, but the fact remains that the feds are coming and they are gonna hit this place hard, and when that happens all you morons with your tax evasion and your petty pot farms are gonna be shit outta luck. peace!

The Boss

By Andy, on Sep 8, 2008 - 15:11
Still don't see you complaining about the real problem in Humboldt, the homeless and Meth users. Your caught up in saying they are doing something illegal even though the district attorney says they support 215. The Feds can do their thing, and at that point it is Federal statures, which I can not comment on that is on the US at that point. But still you call them all morons? I guarantee more people then you would believe are involved in the production of pot; but they are not morons because they don't let people like you figure it out.


By Joe Cornish, on Sep 8, 2008 - 18:24
Wait a minute, Boss----"80% of houses in Humboldt are dedicated to grow ops"?? Where did you get that statistic?

......and doesn't it make sense that the pot and the meth (and the heroin) are related?

The Boss

By Andy, on Sep 8, 2008 - 21:50
I miss read something, I found what I had read and have now figured yes that statement was wrong... My bad, but that was the one thing y'all can pick out... all I'm saying is its crap that people want to say good riddance that someones life was destroyed.

Too bad

By Hubert, on Sep 9, 2008 - 7:36
Andy a lot of times good people make bad decisions. I think you are overreacting a little bit here because you are emotionally involved in the fire. As an environmentalist I must say that all indoor pot farming is bad and wrong and is contributing substantially to the destruction of our environment and the warming of our planet. Also when someone doesn't set it up right and they burn a house down it endangers our neighborhoods adn our community, and even our firefighters.

I don't want growers to go to jail or to leave or to stop growing, I just want them to stop doing it indoors and using such wasteful amounts of energy. Here on the north coast we have amazing weather and everyone can get excellent yields in their own backyards, or even on their decks if they live in apartments. You can grow a plant in your living room if you have enough light coming through a window. I don't say good riddance to the Harrison family, but I do say that's what they get for participating in such a destructive and wasteful activity without any regard for their community. Whatever to the laws or if they were 215, that doesn't matter to me I just want people to stop destroying the environment with all the electricity waste and chemical damage, and yes even house fires.

There is a lot of space outside. Grow weed outdoors and get a big enough harvest to last you all year, its the right way, the clean way, mother nature intended it that way.

Also Andy you were very scathing and attacking when no one was directly attacking you they are just outraged with the problem our community is struggling with. It doesn't matter if you agree, the fact remains that this community wants change they don't want to get rid of all marijuana they just want the extreme attitudes and the exploiters and greed to subside so it can be a normal community again. I don't think that is too outrageous of a desire for a small community in a place as pristine as Humboldt.

Hubert ^_^

By Andy, on Sep 9, 2008 - 14:08
I like you, you were the first one who actually talked in a manner that presented a valid argument. Instead of people whooping and hollering and completely neglecting the human side. Yes I was reacting a little bit more because of my connection, but was more or less offended over the response from people who supposedly are for the community. I respect your stance, and do wish there was a way to reduce the number of fires associated with such actions.

By Hubert, on Sep 9, 2008 - 23:27
Thanks Andy it was nice of you to reply in kind. I can understand the community outrage, and any time there is outrage there will be strong opinions.

Hopefuly we can sort this out before it completely destroys our community and our neighborhoods.

"Jail em all!"

By God Made Pot, on Sep 10, 2008 - 10:11
....but the fact remains that the feds are coming and they are gonna hit this place hard, and when that happens all you morons with your tax evasion and your petty pot farms are gonna be shit outta luck. peace!...

You mean like all 20,000 pot growers in this county? Sorry there ain't enough space in our dinky jail. You need a reality check, friend.

God Made the DEA

By avid reader, on Sep 10, 2008 - 11:56
Come on, are you dumb enough to think that when the feds come they will be putting people in the Humboldt County Jail? Here's a fucking news flash for you: They won't be arrested, they'll be investigated for tax fraud, conspiracy, and drug trafficking, then all their assets (properties, cars, equipment, bank accounts, etc) will be seized. Nobody is going to "jail" but lots of people will be fucked for life after they have everything taken away and get prosecuted in a federal court for very serious crimes.

It's almost not worth the time it takes to explain these very basi concepts to people like you, but I'll do it here so that other readers (and growers) can think about the consequences of being involved in a federally illegal business.


By avid reader, on Sep 10, 2008 - 11:59
Did you know that once you're found guilty of a felony, you can never again vote, own a firearm, or qualify for various licenses and benefits? read for more info.

Free the Herb = problems solved

By Herbman, on Sep 16, 2008 - 14:38
Indoor growing is a phenomenon created by prohibition. Cannabis users and growers have suffered persecution and have been forced underground. Cannabis enters the black market and in enters criminals and criminal activity. There are responsible growers and smokers that are coming out of the closet, or trying to. We would also like the crime surrounding our herb to be gone. We are also against these huge grow operations, environmental problems and folks renting out multiple houses creating housing issues etc.. Thats not my healing herb. There are growers who contribute and are considerate to our community and willing to face the problems happening w/indoor growing. But they cannot really put a spotlight on themselves can they?. Cannabis has been villainized for some time and it being forced under is the source of the problems we now face. By waging war against the cannabis community you are doing nothing to solve the problems created by prohibition. You would do better by supporting responsible and modest operations by folks following state guidelines, and having there electric checked by professionals. Even the dumbest and most greedy big time growers you would think would want a professional to ensure their crops safety from fire. But can folks with 215 and just one light in there garage feel safe having a professional in their home? Growers need to acknowledge these issues in our community, but if you villainize us all then your problems will fester further for this is how it all started to begin with; oppression and prohibition.
"......and doesn't it make sense that the pot and the meth (and the heroin) are related?" Fuck no Joe! Most Pot smokers I know frown on tobacco, and some frown on alcohol too. Pot use is getting more and more socially acceptable all the time, and in most pot smoking circles meth and heroin are scorned as way unacceptable and off limits. We were taught that pot was bad just like these drugs. Some of us learned the hard way that what we were told about these drugs was actually true. But meth freaks will smoke a joint still(and they should! get some sleep already damm), and drug dealers will sale what gets them cash. Criminals will leave my herb alone when it is no longer outlawed.
And you cannot blame those who want some extra time home with their families, or need to supplement their Humboldt county wages (yes they work too) with a couple lights or a small greenhouse. There is no moral violation here, just an immoral law. Imprison that man and taking him from his children is a horrible crime. There is very little money to made from a legal herb, and who would grow an herb indoors if not for money or necessity?
I could certainly use the money myself, I have 215, but I am not growing. My land lady is opposed to it growing here. We love living here, and we respect her, so we are not growing anything but veggies. Not all pot smokers are inconsiderate or dishonest tenants.
The problems created by grow houses are overshadowed by the devastating effects on families due to the failed drug war reported today on ; "In news about the so-called war on drugs, police in the United States arrested a record 870,000 people last year on marijuana violations. That’s an average of nearly 2,400 people a day. Annual marijuana arrests have nearly tripled since the early 1990s."
2,400 people a day is a crime and not helping solve your grow house problems in the slightest! And this is why criminals can charge big bucks for an herb that should not be worth the equipment used to grow it. And this is why thieves and rapist get out of our crowded prisons early. Threaten prosecution all you want, it's hurting your community not helping! The feds can come here and go crazy, do you know what will happen? The price for a pound will skyrocket and less people will be able to resist the temptation of a cash crop. That is why people grow indoors at all. Free the herb, set the captives free, and nobody will be able to sale Pot for the price of Basil. Which would be unfortunate for some, but better for most.
And avid; 'you can never again vote' is false, you are wrong.
My family has been here for three generations, am I a local yet? My family has not grown pot... Do I own store in this county? NO,LOL The newcomer vs. locals argument is as old as our broken treaties with the Indians. Being local doesn't make someone love the area and community any more or less, and it doesn't validate my own argument either. I mean... maybe if the locals outsted Charles Hurwitz before he totally exploited our resources the newcomers could support their families with real jobs?
Oh and Joe, I've lived in L.A. and can tell you that folks here are a bit isolated, and many do not realize what the rest of the country has turned into. It's no wonder you are not seeing the drugs and crime. Apparently we have a very large crime problem here compared to the amount of people. But I feel safe most anywhere in town here, and wouldn't think twice about walking down an alley at night. Where you were I would not feel safe in my car even. They say we have a homeless problem here too! But our country has the homeless problem, and criminalizing them is not solving anything either. Homeless people live on the streets, and are quite vulnerable. If I were homeless I would want to be where the majority of 'criminals' are pot heads too, much safer here.

Don't blame pot on idiots...

By JasonD, on Mar 5, 2009 - 21:27
Marijuana is not the cause of anything you mention, except the relocation of new home-owners...

Obviously, those houses were vacant, so you failed to mention that the economy was boosted, by the filling of many vacant homes, which "You long-timers", no longer wished to occupy.

However, that is no excuse for the stupid, leading the blind, and the blind building electrical fire-hazards, in the name of an enterprise. Chances are, it was not the fault of the devices, but rather the homes faulty wiring, which was not up to code, and could not handle the rated loads. (That happens all the time in Connecticut, using simple home-heaters.)

Marijuana grows do not use as much electricity as you think, though, a full home conversion can use up to 400% more than normal. (If they use more than that, it is not profitable.)

Any-who... Shame on the county, for not taking the appropriate actions, and enforcing "The use of residential property, to operate as a business." which is a violation of the law. Just as it is against the law to operate a business off any rented residential property.

Stupid people will attempt to grow, and fail. That is why I spend my time educating safety, so these bone-heads don't kill their neighbors by accident, or have a reason to try it on purpose. (For reasons of defence.)

Sounds like a cool neighborhood, where can I join? Got a spare room you could put me up for a year or two? I don't eat much, and I am actually drug-free, as all educators should be.

See you around. (Keep the fire extinguishers handy.)

felon rights

By 420luvr, on Mar 11, 2009 - 3:26
Actually you can get every single one of your rights back after various lengths of time passing. (10 years being the longest) Plus you NEVER lose your right to travel. Though some countries won't let you in if they know you are a felon ie. Australia and Canada.


By Its Me, on May 13, 2010 - 9:25
I don't understand you pot-heads. If someone is driving their vehicle reckless and total it, you would say they get what they deserve. If they were mixing chemicals and their garage exploded, they got what they deserved. So when they grow pot in their families home and it burns down, they not only get what they deserve, but they should be charged with all associated costs of the fire, just like the CHP charges the investigation fees to the drunk drivers they arrest! They should also have to pay their neighbors for their inconvenience of having their streets closed down and even more if they had to be evacuated because of the fire. They should also have to pay the home owner because their insurance will not cover damages done by criminals operating an illegal drug lab. Just because You think it is ok, the rest of the nation dose not and neither does the national insurance companies.
Remember, An armed society is a polite society.

indoor growing in northern cali?

By mork, on Dec 12, 2010 - 7:10
it's unbelievable to me as an outsider that indoor grow ops and their assosiated grow stores are allowed in the best outdoor pot-growing region of the country(the world?)- it's easy enough to tell by peoples' electric bills what they're using their houses for, and these people should be run out of this amazing place by the people who live here, not the feds. other regions in the country? i don't know, but not here, where growing conditions are perfect for the real, organic, healing herb. indoor chemically laced marijuana is not medical grade and is so often what is sold to dispensaries where legitimately sick people go for their medicine. for shame.

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