Cannabis plants found in house fire call-out

4:48 pm on 14 September 2016

Two hundred cannabis plants have been discovered after the Fire Service was called to a fire in the basement of a Tauranga house.

The plants were found at the scene on Hilltop Road in Parkvale just before 5pm on Tuesday evening.

A man has been charged with the cultivation of cannabis and appeared in the Tauranga District Court this morning.

Police said they believed the fire was caused after power was illegally diverted to the growing operation.

"This was a sophisticated growing operation," Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Turner said.

"An inquiry is under way to establish any criminal liability in relation to the fire and identify anyone else who might be associated with the cannabis operation.

"Diverting power is a dangerous practice, but unfortunately common practice when cultivating cannabis. The practice can cause death by electrocution," Mr Turner said.