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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Hazmat teams responded to a suspected marijuana grow house in the Coral Ridge Isles neighborhood of Fort Lauderdale Thursday morning.
Fort Lauderdale SWAT had been assisting the Broward Sheriff’s Office during the execution of the search warrant at the residence on the 1400 block of 56 Court, where hazardous materials were found, according to authorities.
BSO said once inside something seemed to be leaking, so they took no chances and called out the bomb squad and fire rescue. Several officers had to be cleaned off by hazmat teams after possible exposure to unknown chemicals inside the residence, according to authorities.
The unknown chemicals turned out to be carbon monoxide, according to BSO. No one was injured.
“Initially they weren’t sure what that substance was so they backed out and hazmat responded and decontaminated them as a precaution,” said BSO Spokesperson Joy Oglesby.
Some neighbors were told to remain in their homes, others were told to get away from the area. Once neighbors saw all the police and fire activity, they knew something serious was unfolding.
“With all these guys here, something real bad is going on,” a neighbor, Woody, said, adding that this is a place where crime rarely occurs.
“This is a pretty quiet neighborhood. Maybe that’s why they came here,” a neighbor said.
Images from CBS News Chopper 4 showed the Fort Lauderdale Bomb Squad at the scene along with units from Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue.
BSO collected “boxes of marijuana plants and buds” during the operation in Fort Lauderdale and they busted another operation at a home a short distance away in Oakland Park.
The marijuana plants collected from both homes have a value of half a million dollars, according to BSO.
“We’re talking about 400 plants collected from both homes,” Oglesby said. “They have a street value of half a million dollars. It was a dangerous operation and fortunately for our detectives and all involved it was a fairly safe operation.”
For neighbors, though, it was frightening.
“It was terrifying for us. Wife was shaken up. Kids were shaken up,” Milano Costello said. “It really gives you a concern of what’s going on in your neighborhood, actually.”
BSO says both men arrested — Brian Delsandro and Eric Lubin — will face several charges including trafficking, cultivation and renting a home for the purpose of producing cannabis.