WEST PIERCE FIRE & RESCUE
House fire under investigation
At 11:51 a.m. on June 7, West Pierce Fire & Rescue was dispatched to a residential fire at the 6600 block of 52nd Avenue West. Crews arrived to find a detached garage on fire with heavy smoke coming from the structure. The smoke was dark and orange in color at times. Police notified emergency response crews that the home was a known drug house, but the contents involved in the fire are unknown. Due to the color of the smoke, firefighters were directed to use extreme caution and limit personnel who gained access to the building. All firefighters who had been inside the structure or in the smoke were required to be decontaminated before leaving the scene.
The owners of the property were not in the garage at the time of the incident, nor were there any injuries during the event. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Pierce County Fire Marshal’s Office.
Narcotics officers from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department served a Superior Court search warrant at a residence on 45th Street West. The house had been converted into a large-scale marijuana manufacturing grow operation. Deputies found the windows were covered with visqueen, pressboard and insulation. The chimney had been converted into a ventilation system that served the entire grow. The power had been converted to two panels and diverted away from the main source. Hundreds of marijuana plants were seized along with fans, light ballasts, venting equipment and pre-harvested marijuana by the suspects. This was the second large scale marijuana grow discovered in University Place in the past month.
A Public Works employee discovered garbage had been dumped in the 5700 block of Alameda Road West. The items included a lawn mower, car seat, paper shredder and other household items. The employee also found a piece of mail with the suspect’s name and address on it. The Public Works employee went to the suspect’s home and contacted him. The suspect would not respond to the employee who eventually left after telling the suspect he was going to call the police. A short while later, the suspect showed up at the Public Works facility to try to make a deal and told him it was the first time he had done this. The suspect left before police arrived. A University Place police officer called the suspect who then hung up on the officer. The suspect was then contacted at his home in person and was arrested. The suspect was booked into the Pierce County Jail for illegal dumping.
A driver of a moped was stopped at 35th Street and Morrison Road for not wearing a helmet while driving. The suspect’s driver’s license was suspended and he was arrested. A search of his person located a plastic baggy in his jacket pocket with a powdery substance that later tested positive for methamphetamine. The driver told the officer he didn’t need a license to drive a moped on the street. He also said he was coming home from a grocery store where he found the coat that he was wearing. The driver was booked into the Pierce County Jail for possession of narcotics and for driving with a suspended license.
A victim of a vehicle prowl reported that she left her purse in her car while she went into a business at 19th Street and Mildred. Her passenger side window was shattered and her purse was removed. The purse contained two valuable rings and expensive makeup.