No Need To Check On My Pot-Growing Empire, Officer

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The Houston Fire Department was putting out a small electrical blaze last night at what looked to be an abandoned mechanic's shop.

They couldn't be sure the fire hadn't spread inside, so they asked the guy who was on the property if he could open the place up.

He didn't really want to.

"They told him 'Hey, we can't leave until we check it out,'"Harris County Sheriff's Department spokesman Lt. John Legg tells Hair Balls. "He let them in and then he took off."

The firefighters thought that was a bit odd -- until they went inside. Where they found a clean, sophisticated operation of 200 pot plants of different sizes growing contentedly.

"It would have been about $10,000 in street value if it had been processed," Legg says.

No wonder the guy didn't want to open the door:

"No, no man, it's fine -- no fire here, nothing? I'm good."

"Well, sir, better safe than sorry"

"Hmmm -- I think I'll go with 'sorry.'"

Firefighters didn't give chase; Legg says investigators are running down leads based on tax records of who owns the place and an electric bill discovered in the mailbox.

-- Richard Connelly

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