PALM HARBOR – Pinellas County Sheriff’s detectives located a marijuana grow-operation in a Palm Harbor residence after responding to a reported fire on Appleton Court.
According to investigators, the Palm Harbor Fire Department and sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of smoke at the Palm Harbor home. The fire, which was quickly extinguished, was determined to be food cooking on the stove. Detectives said the homeowner, Kerry S. Nichols, 60, had apparently fallen asleep while the food was cooking. No injuries were reported.
Initially, fire department personnel suspected there might be a meth lab in the home; and the Haz-Mat Team was summoned to search the home. No meth lab was found. Investigators did find marijuana growing in a back room of the residence. About four plants and growing equipment were seized.
Nichols was arrested for cultivation and possession of marijuana and transported to the Pinellas County Jail. Bond was set at $5,150.