Crime

Officials: Foxborough fire allegedly connected to illegal cannabis farm

Detectives allegedly found 100 pounds of marijuana in the house.

A Wednesday morning fire allegedly sparked by electrical equipment connected to an illegal marijuana farm has damaged a multi-family home in Foxborough and left more than a dozen people displaced, according to officials.

The owner of the home, 46-year-old Donald Corliss III, has been arrested and charged with possession to distribute a Class D drug (marijuana), possession of a Class A drug (fentanyl), and reckless endangerment of a child, according to WCVB.

Just after 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, firefighters arrived at 91 Central St., to find the house engulfed in smoke, according to a Facebook post from the Foxborough Fire Department.

Officials said they found “heavy fire” in the basement, which extended up the exterior wall to the attic and concealed void spaces.

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“Fires of this nature require considerable manpower to access and extinguish,” according to the department’s Facebook post.

Fire Chief Michael Kelleher told Boston 25 News that it was difficult for crews to put out the fire because of the building’s age and the fact that it had been divided into six units.

Kelleher told Boston 25 that about 12 to 15 adults and kids lived in the building and some of the units were heavily damaged by the fire.

Officials say all of the home’s occupants made it out safely because of working smoke detectors.

Firefighters were able to salvage some of the residents’ Christmas presents, according to WBZ.

According to the television station, investigators allegedly discovered about 200 marijuana plants in the basement and heating equipment used for growing those plants. Authorities allege that the heating equipment caused the blaze.

Detectives searching the house also allegedly found 100 pounds of marijuana in a drying room, according to WBZ, along with THC products and “a substance believed to be fentanyl.”

The state Fire Marshal’s Office, the Foxborough police and fire departments, and Massachusetts State Police are all investigating the fire.

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