SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Two arrests have been made after an early morning fire exposed an alleged marijuana growing operation in Springfield's Forest Park neighborhood.
Firefighters were called to a basement fire, just before 3:00AM Tuesday, at 92-94 Draper Street.
Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney told 22News that firefighters discovered large amounts of marijuana inside plastic bins, and hanging out to dry inside the home.
Police officers had already been in the area for crowd control, but were brought to the house to investigate, where Delaney says they found a "sophisticated" marijuana growing operation, including hydroponics lights, and a watering system. Police went through the home after obtaining a search warrant.
Mitchell Pelc, 31, and Paul Jeannenot, 31, both residents of the building, were arrested following the discovery. Delaney says that Jannenot was taken to Baystate Medical Center for smoke inhalation, because he kept going into and out of the house to remove items while the fire was happening.
The total weight of the marijuana seized was more than 50 lbs; and with a street value of about $1,000 per pound, that brings the value up to about $250,000.
Neighbors who spoke to 22News Tuesday morning said they were in shock upon hearing the news.
This is a developing story. Stay with 22News both on-air and online as we continue to bring you the very latest information, as soon as it becomes available.