Firefighters uncover marijuana at Mission district fire

Firefighters tackling a three-alarm blaze in the Mission district on Thursday night stumbled upon an unexpected discovery while fending off the flames — a room filled with marijuana plants.

San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Lt. Mindy Talmadge said firefighters on the scene at 1142 S. Van Ness Ave. came across a “horticultural type of thing” on the building’s top floor.

Police Department spokesman Sgt. Steve Mannina confirmed that 25 to 30 marijuana plants were confiscated from the house. No criminal charges have yet been filed, although police are investigating the case, Mannina said.

Although an investigation into the fire is ongoing, Talmadge said early reports indicate that the blaze was caused by an electrical malfunction from an overload of circuits. Talmadge said there was a possibility the overload came as a result of appliances used in the top floor that housed the marijuana plants.

Thursday’s blaze originated at 1142 S. Van Ness Ave., which incorporates the top two floors of the building, before spreading down to 1140 S. Van Ness Ave., which inhabits the bottom floor, according to Talmadge. It was reported at 7:45 p.m. Thursday, contained by 8 p.m. and under control by 8:45 p.m., Talmadge said.

The owner of the house, Nobuo Yamaji, said he rented out the 1142 S. Van Ness Ave. apartment to an artist, but would not provide any further information.

The inferno at the three-story Victorian-style home caused $750,000 in structural damage, and $115,000 in damage to contents inside the home, according to Talmadge, who said no other buildings were damaged by the fire. One person was displaced, Talmadge said.

A nearby neighbor of the house, who declined to be identified, said he had seen men carrying large plants out of the building in the past, although he did not know if they were marijuana plants.

wreisman@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocalTransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Cyclists have flocked to Market Street since private vehicles were largely banned from a long stretch of it in January. (Amanda Peterson/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Plans for sidewalk-level bikeway on Market Street dropped due to costs, increased cyclist volume

Advocates say revisions to Better Market Street fail to meet safety goals of project

Prop. 21 would allow San Francisco city officials to expand rent control to cover thousands more units. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tenant advocates take another try at expanding rent control with Prop. 21

Measure would allow city to impose new protections on properties 15 years or older

Tenderloin residents are finding benefits to having roads closed in the neighborhood. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Should there be fewer cars in the Tenderloin’s future?

The pandemic has opened San Franciscans’ eyes to new uses of urban streets

Singer-songwriter Cam is finding musicmaking to be healing during 2020’s world health crisis. 
Courtesy 
Dennis Leupold
Cam challenges country music tropes

Bay Area-bred songwriter releases ‘The Otherside’

Most Read