Police say a house that burned Saturday morning in Taghum had a grow-op in the basement.
Blewett and Beasley fire crews responded to the call about 7:40 a.m. in the 5900 block of Smith Road. Upon arrival, they found the house totally engulfed in flames.
“The lone resident had been awoken by his screaming cat,” Sgt. Darryl Little said in a news release. “The homeowner managed to escape through the rear door. The cat, however, failed to make it out.”
The 64-year-old man was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation and was released later that morning.
The house was severely damaged by the fire, which doesn’t appear suspicious.
However, police and the fire departments found what they believed to be a marijuana grow-op in the basement.
“The fire investigators and insurance company will be examining the scene in greater depth to determine if faulty wiring may have been the cause of the fire,” Little says.
A second grow-op was found in an outbuilding on the property.
RCMP are recommending charges of drug production against the homeowner.