Marijuana growing operation discovered after Niles house fire

(Photo supplied/ABC 57)

A homeowner got burned in more ways than one when his house caught fire in Niles.

A fire broke out at about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday at a home on the 1100 block of Stateline Rd. near Niles, according to a Berrien County Sheriff’s Office press release.

The Niles Township Fire Department put out the blaze, which destroyed about a third of the home. The other two-thirds sustained smoke and water damage. In total, there was $60,000 to $80,000 in damage either due to fire, smoke, or water damage.

Officers found evidence of a marijuana manufacturing operation after the fire. Deputies seized pot, plants and other related items. Investigators believe the fire was accidental. In fact, the marijuana growing equipment may have caused it.

Officers arrested Luthor Borders, 34, after medics treated his minor injuries. In addition, two children, ages seven and nine, were in the home at the time of the fire. They’re now in the custody of Child Protective Services.

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