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W. Philly house fire leads to marijuana bust

This post has been updated

Fire fighters stumbled across an apparent marijuana growing operation during a response to a house fire in the Belmont section of West Philadelphia Wednesday afternoon, police said.

The blaze was reported around 3:45 p.m. at a house on Poplar Street near 40th.

Lt. John Walker of the Southwest Detective Division said there were at least 100 marijuana plants in the house, and that narcotics officers were awaiting a search warrant to collect additional evidence Wednesday night.

Walker said the house appeared to be under renovation, and that the growing operation took up the entire second floor. A man who was inside the house when firefighters arrived fled the scene and police were working to identify him.

There were no reported injures.

The house fire is the latest incident in which authorities found drugs inside of a house  while they were responding to an unrelated crime.

Police in Darby Borough busted a 52-year-old man in a marijuana growing operation yesterday after three men tried stealing his crop in a botched home invasion robbery on Monday.

A 21-year-old Temple University student was also arrested on April 29 after police responded to a home invasion robbery at his house on Page Street near 15th and found about four ounces of weed.