A report of flames and heavy smoke brought firefighters to 1656 Mayflower Avenue in the Bronx Sunday evening.
"The occupancy was apparently being used as a grow house, a marijuana grow house on the third floor," said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
Luis Roman, the homeowner, was charged with criminal possession of marijuana and felony assault.
The fire injured 12-year veteran firefighter Thomas Corcoran, who lost his footing while climbing a ladder to the roof and fell 30-feet- breaking his femur. Corcoran is recovering at Jacobi Hospital, after undergoing surgery.
Grow houses have proven deadly in the past few years. In 2016, Deputy Chief Michael Fahy was killed, when a marijuana grow house exploded in Kingsbridge.
"It's a recipe for disaster," said James Hunt the special agent in charge of the DEA's New York field office.
He's investigated 30 grow operations in the state. He declined to comment on the current investigation. But says grow houses are a fire trap.
"A typical apartment in New York city is not made for indoor growing. There's tangled wires. You have fertilizer which is highly flamable," said Hunt.
"You're being wreckless, you put a grow house in a place that's inhabited by a lot of people bad consequences are going to happen."
This report by the DEA calls grow houses the new meth houses.
Across the country marijuana grow house fires are becoming a troubling trend and a danger for firefighters and residents alike.
"Unfortunately in cases like this, they're walking into a trap," said Hunt.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea, whose detectives made the arrest in Sunday's fire, says there are clear signs an apartment or house might be a grow house.
"Blacked out windows, rows of trays where they grow the plants. Con [Edison] usage, electricity usage, water which would be indiciative of growing," said Shea.
The DEA says grow house operators leave homes across the area, ruined. Rife with mold and holes in the floor from ventaliation systems, they say it creates a very dangerous situation for anyone who comes in contact with them.