House fire reveals marijuana grow operation

- A grill fire led officers to an apparent marijuana growing operation. 

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said a residential fire was reported at a three-story home on Hollywood Boulevard around 6 p.m. Thursday. 

Crews spoke to a tenant who was on his second floor balcony when his grill's propane tank exploded.

When the flames were out, Sarasota County firefighters told sheriff's deputies they found several marijuana plants on the third floor balcony. 

They found 19 plants, several smaller quantities of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. In all, 1,574 grams of marijuana was seized. Deputies arrested 42-year-old Michael Lopriore and charged him with cultivation of marijuana. He was released on $1,500 bond.

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