December 27, 2018
NEW YORK — It was high times in the Bronx Thursday afternoon, after crews made a surprise discovery when they were called out to investigate an apartment building on Jacobus Place near West 225th Street, where FDNY crews initially responded to reports of downed wires and a smell of gas in Marble Hill, a section of Manhattan north of the Harlem River surrounded by Bronx neighborhoods.
When firefighters arrived, sources say they smelled what they believed to be marijuana outside two apartments in the building. Con Edison crews turned the building’s gas off before police entered and confirmed the presence of a marijuana grow house.
Investigators entered the two apartments and found an undetermined amount of marijuana plants, sources say. The fourth and fifth floors of the building were temporarily evacuated as law enforcement officials continued to examine the findings.
“It’s scary, honestly,” resident Verolid Cruz said. “It’s scary to think that’s happening upstairs, or was happening at least.”
Cruz and other tenants say the discovery was unwelcome news, and also a sign their neighborhood has changed.
“If that’s the case then I hope authorities are aware of it and do whatever they have to do to make sure it stops because it brings the whole building down,” resident Manuel Molina said.
Aside from the illegal activity, the potential for real danger exists. In September 2016 firefighter Michael Fahy was killed by debris when home on W. 234th Street exploded as crews arrived to check out the smell of gas at what would turn out to be a marijuana grow house. In October, another firefighter was injured after he fell 30 feet from a ladder trying to put out a fire caused by a grow operation inside a Pelham Bay apartment.