Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney said around 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, firefighters were called to a home at 44 Gail Street in the city’s Forest Park neighborhood.
Firefighters quickly put out the blaze. However, police were called in a short time later for another discovery they made in the basement.
Officials found that someone in the home was growing marijuana in the basement. Delaney says that the fire was caused by an illegal generator that was used for the operation.
A resident of the home arrived a short time later, where he was arrested.
27-year-old Michael Thompson was arrested and charged with cultivating marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Delaney says that police seized nine pounds of marijuana valued at $36,000, along with approximately 500 marijuana plants of various sizes.
Thompson will be arraigned Friday in Springfield District Court.