Cannabis Grow Barn Gutted – February 1, 2011
ARCATA BOTTOM – Arcata Fire District personnel responded to a report of a commercial barn fire at 3805 Foster Avenue just after 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 27. The initial report indicated that a large barn was fully involved.
Firefighters arrived and found a large shed burning and beginning to spread to two adjacent buildings. A quick attack was made on the fire to keep it from spreading any further to the nearby buildings.
Residents reported that no people were in the building. When asked about the contents of the building, they confirmed that it was being used as a cannabis grow room. One resident had unsuccessfully tried to control the fire with an extinguisher but was repelled by the copious smoke. He escaped the building without injury and refused medical treatment.
According to Assistant Chief Desmond Cowan, “Fire extinguishers should only be used on very small fires in conditions that are not going to pose a real threat to the user. This fire could have ended in a fatality. In this case, the best course of action would be to stay out of the building and call 911.”
Twenty Arcata Fire District personnel responded with four engines and a water tender. Additional engines responded from Eureka Fire Department, Blue Lake Fire District and Fieldbrook Fire District.
Engines from Calfire and Westhaven provided coverage at McKinleyville and Mad River Stations. A total of 29 firefighters worked for three hours to completely extinguish the fire.
Damage is estimated to be about $25,000.