Fire leads police to hydroponics pot lab inside family home BY THERESA BRADLEY tbradley@MiamiHerald.com Firefighters called to douse a blaze at a Redland residence Monday morning uncovered $400,000-worth of marijuana growing in a hydroponics lab in the garage, Miami-Dade police said. Narcotics detectives called to the scene impounded 53 mature marijuana plants at the one-story home, at 26851 SW 192nd Ave. ''It was wall-to-wall marijuana'' in the garage, which was outfitted with a floorboard irrigation system, lights and reflective panel, said Lt. Gene Tweedy, a Miami-Dade fire investigator looking into the case. Police said Roy Diaz, 31, lived in the home with his wife and two small children. Diaz was transported to Homestead Hospital where he was treated for smoke inhalation. He had tried to battle the fire himself. He was released and charged with trafficking in marijuana, grand theft of electricity, and child endangerment, police and fire rescue officials said. The cause of the fire has yet to be determined, but Diaz told investigators that his wife had left a few candles burning the night before, in the family room, next to the lab. Flames gutted that room and spread to the kitchen, waking Diaz, who finally called for help at 6:40 a.m., Tweedy said. ''He was reluctant to call the fire department, considering what was in the garage,'' Tweedy said. Six fire rescue units arrived as flames tore through the family room, destroying its contents beyond recognition, and making it harder for investigators to pinpoint the fire's cause, Tweedy said. The blaze did not appear to be related to the marijuana lab, though, he said. The 5- and 6-foot-tall marijuana plants, which carpeted the garage floor in individual buckets, were untouched by the flames. In March, firefighters called to battle flames above an Opa-Locka fish market uncovered more than $100,000-worth of marijuana growing in a hydroponics lab there.