While police prepared to thoroughly examine the interior of the building, firefighters worked to safely burn off butane used to fuel a processing system at the site.

While police prepared to thoroughly examine the interior of the building, firefighters worked to safely burn off butane used to fuel a processing system at the site.

Photos by Brian Louwers


Roseville police: Structure fire caused by illegal marijuana grow operation

By: Brian Louwers | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published November 3, 2021

 State police at the scene Nov. 3 said they believed there were 300-400 plants in the building, in several rooms, with an upstairs processing lab.

State police at the scene Nov. 3 said they believed there were 300-400 plants in the building, in several rooms, with an upstairs processing lab.

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ROSEVILLE — Police said an illegal marijuana grow operation started a fire in an industrial building abutting a Roseville neighborhood Nov. 2. 

Investigators with the Michigan State Police and the Roseville Police Department, working alongside firefighters from Roseville and other Macomb County agencies, remained at the scene in the 16600 block of Eastland Street, north of 12 Mile Road and east of Groesbeck Highway, around noon the following day. 

Roseville Fire Chief Keith Jacobs confirmed that firefighters were sent to the scene at 7:10 p.m. Nov. 2. He said no first responders or civilians were injured by the fire, but that he could not comment further due to the ongoing investigation. 

State police at the scene Nov. 3 said they believed there were 300-400 plants in the building, in several rooms, with an upstairs processing lab. While police prepared to thoroughly examine the interior of the building, firefighters worked to safely burn off butane used to fuel a processing system at the site. 

Deputy Chief Mitchell Berlin, of the Roseville Police Department, said in a statement that officers were sent to the address, at the intersection of Eastland and Parkway, where they found a fire emanating from the building’s second floor. Roseville fire crews, with the assistance of other jurisdictions, extinguished the fire quickly.

“Once inside of the structure, fire and police personnel located a very large indoor marijuana grow operation,” Berlin said.

Electrical extension cords running throughout the interior of the building reportedly posed a hazard for first responders, as did the large amount of butane in the building used to fuel the processing operation. 

“The butane posed a significant danger to the area and first responders,” Berlin said. “If the butane would have been exposed to fire for a longer period of time, it would have exploded and caused significant damage to any person in the vicinity. There are homes located within a close proximity to the grow operation and they would have been damaged if the butane exploded.

“We want residents to understand that illegal marijuana operations of this type pose a serious threat to them and first responders. The illegal wiring by itself could have resulted in a firefighter or police officer being seriously injured or killed,” Berlin said.

He said the emergency response from the city of Roseville and assisting agencies represented a “significant amount of resources” that would come “at a cost to the taxpayers.”

“People who operate these types of illegal operations must be held accountable for their reckless acts and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Berlin said. “It is unconscionable the danger they put residents and first responders in because they want to circumvent the current marijuana laws and maximize profits.”

Berlin said the results of the investigation will be forwarded to Macomb County prosecutors for review.

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