By Rick Sallinger

LARKSPUR, Colo. (CBS4)– Numerous sources have confirmed that the home on Winged Foot Court in Larkspur, destroyed in a spectacular fire Wednesday, was being used as a marijuana grow house. Investigators are checking out similarities with some major busts that occurred last year in this state.

Dozens of plants were found inside. That doesn’t necessarily indicate that it was an illegal activity

CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger checked electricity bills for the home and found the average electrical bill is $2,100 a month. An IREA customer service representative called that amount “high.” The previous resident averaged $94 a month.

The house fire in Larkspur (credit: CBS)

The house fire in Larkspur (credit: CBS)

Neighbors told us they believed the residents were of Cuban descent and had come from Florida.

Last year a number illegal marijuana grow operations were raided in southern Colorado in which Cubans and Mexicans were arrested.

In Cotopaxi and Westcliffe, 20 suspeccts were arrested as part of a major drug trafficking organization investigation where more than 1,000 marijuana plants were found along with 28 firearms and $25,000 cash.

At the time U.S. Attorney John Walsh said pot shipments were going to Florida, “Outside drug trafficking organizations may come to Colorado with the notion it may go unnoticed because of the amount of marijuana
activity.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Investigators have not determined if there is a link between this blaze and last year’s raids, other than the presence of marijuana.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation. So far the agency cannot comment on this Larkspur grow discovered by fire because it is still an open investigation.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.

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