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Firefighters find suspicious liquids inside burned home in north Houston

Wednesday, December 05, 2012
At least one firefighter was injured and treated at the scene.
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Firefighters found more than flames after an explosion sparked a fire that ripped through a Spring home and shocked neighbors.

The search is on for the people seen running from that home shortly after neighbors say they heard the explosion. HazMat crews were called to the house on Tall Tree Ridge Way after firefighters made a big discovery inside.

Neighbor Tim Mason recalled, "We heard a loud explosion probably 9:30, 9:20."

Mason who lives near the home says at first he didn't know what had happened, but soon realized a house just a few doors down was burning following an explosion.

"The next thing you know, we heard all the fire engines, fire trucks," Mason said. "We started noticing them getting closer and closer, and then they were on our street and we came outside."

According to the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office, the fire started around 9:30pm Tuesday. Heavy smoke and flames were coming from the back of the home when firefighters arrived.

After getting the fire under control, investigators learned the fire was suspicious. Several containers filled with liquid were removed, and determined to be water and fertilizer. Drugs were also found in the home.

"They did remove some narcotics out of the house, marijuana," a fire official on the scene said. "It appears from what I'm hearing from investigators who have been here all night that it looks like the house could have been being set to potentially grow marijuana."

Neighbors reported seeing several people running from the home after the fire started and added they have witnessed suspicious activity around the home for a while now.

"It's always been a fishy house, just got a bad feeling about it," Mason said. "Never really see the people that live there."

Investigators spent the morning trying to locate the person they believe the home was being rented to. So far, that person has not been located.

Firefighters worked overnight collecting evidence from inside the home so they can eventually pinpoint the exact cause of the fire and explosion. The house suffered from considerable damage.

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