Man Arrested for Refusing to Allow Firefighters Into Room to Extinguish Flames:Cops

Gaetano Rodriguez, 27, faces charges of obstructing firefighters and with cultivation of marijuana, St. Petersburg Police said.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    St. Petersburg Police
    Gaetano Rodriguez

    A man was arrested after he refused to allow firefighters to enter a locked bedroom to extinguish an electrical fire. Meanwhile, once inside the room, they discovered a marijuana grow operation, authorities said.

    Gaetano Rodriguez, 27, faces charges of obstructing firefighters and with cultivation of marijuana, St. Petersburg Police said.

    On Monday, at 6:28 p.m., they were called to 727 54th Avenue North for an electrical fire inside of the house.

    When firefighters arrived, they found the fire coming from the home and in a locked bedroom and in the attic, police said.

    Rodriguez, who was renting the house from his father, wouldn't allow them into the bedroom, police said. So, they had to forcibly remove him and break down the door. Inside, they found 75 to 100 marijuana plants in pots. police said.

    He told police that he was growing the plants for medical use, but later said it was to sell, according to authorities.

    He was taken to Pinellas County Jail. He was released on bond on Tuesday, according to online jail records

    It wasn't immediately known if he had an attorney.

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