Firefighters found hundreds of marijuana plants Friday morning after responding to a fire alarm at a commercial building in Santa Ana, reports KTLA 5 (http://bit.ly/1xORliA)
Orange County Fire Authority personnel made the discovery about 7 a.m. in the 1100 block of East 17th Street, according to a statement from the Santa Ana Police Department.
Five males fled the location in multiple vehicles when the firefighters arrived at the location, where there was no sign of a fire, the statement said.
Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna later said an unknown number of people had left the scene in five vehicles.
About 1,600 marijuana plants, with an estimated street value of $2.9 million, and cultivation equipment were discovered at the site, authorities said.
Santa Ana police went to the location and launched an investigation into what officials described as an illegal grow operation.