PARAMUS, N.J. -- Paramus police trying to rescue residents from an overnight house fire on Thursday said they arrested four of them after finding a pot grow room in the basement.
Police Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg said his officers seized 50 or so plants -- ranging from several inches high to three feet tall -- a short time after the 2 a.m. fire call came in from the North Farview Avenue home.
The four arrested were identified as:
Chet Weaver, 47
Steven Burton, 44
Zachery Hill, 34
Cody Hill, 28
Each posted $10,000 bail and was released on charges of producing and selling pot. Weaver also was charged with cocaine possession.
The blaze apparently was ignited by the malfunction of an electric meat drying machine next to the garage, Ehrenberg said.
"Upon arrival, police and fire units found the garage of the home fully involved in flames," he said.
Two residents were out there extinguish the blaze with a garden hose, the chief said.
Because the fire was extending into the main area of the home, police rushed in, Ehrenberg said.
There they found two residents and the grow room, along with harvested marijuana and a small amount of cocaine, he said.
Police also recovered harvested marijuana from the home. The blaze was extinguished within a half hour, Ehrenberg said.
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