The fire caused about $8,000 in damage to an upstairs unit of an apartment building on College Hill. Pullman Police Commander Chris Tennant said when Avista crews shut off the utilities to the building; they uncovered a hazardous pot growing operation in another unit. It tuned out that one of the tenants had re-done the duct work to ventilate exhaust from the hot water heater into a bedroom where the tenant was growing medical marijuana.
"A lot of that exhaust carries carbon monoxide, so you run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Tennant. “But also, you have some very hot gasses that were being re-directed up against some flammables and it could have started a fire."
Tennant said it was a legal amount of medical marijuana and the grower was licensed; therefore, no arrests have been made. However, the case was forwarded to the Prosecutor’s Office with a reckless endangerment charge, and that the tenant will likely be evicted.