Five Nanaimo residents woke up early Tuesday morning to discover flames coming from a bedroom that had been converted to a licensed medical marijuana grow-op, according to Nanaimo Fire.
A beeping smoke alarm roused one of the residents of the Beach Drive home around 2:45 a.m. All five people escaped without injury as the home filled with smoke, said Nanaimo Fire acting chief Karen Fry.
They called 911 and 12 firefighters arrived on scene, dousing the flames in the bedroom.
Two men were treated for smoke inhalation by B.C. Ambulance paramedics but did not require hospitalization.
The home suffered smoke and water damage, meaning the residents will be temporarily displaced. Nanaimo RCMP arrived on scene and confirmed the occupant was licensed to grow medical marijuana.
Fry said even Health Canada-approved marijuana production can be risky if the electrical equipment is faulty.
“Marijuana grow operations are still risky endeavors and if people aren’t wiring them properly, there is still a risk to occupants and first responders,” Fry said.