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Seattle Police load hundreds of pot plants, in white bags, into a police vehicle after a bust at My Canh restaurant Monday (Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times).

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Detectives discovered 481 pot plants at a South Seattle restaurant Monday morning after a fire. (Seattle Police Department.

Seattle police say the illegal harnessing of  electrical power to support a marijuana grow operation inside a Rainier Valley restaurant led to a small fire this morning.

Police narcotics detectives are investigating at My Canh restaurant, 6021 Martin Luther King Jr. Way S., where 481 plants were found in the basement, said Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson.

Seattle fire crews were dispatched to the business around 8 a.m. for a report of an electrical fire. Firefighters quickly put out a small fire on the outside of the restaurant before going inside to see if the fire had spread, said fire department spokesman Kyle Moore. Once inside, firefighters found an empty restaurant on one floor and the grow operation in the basement, Moore said.

The building owner told fire investigators he had been leasing the space out and didn’t know about the drug operation, Moore said.

Jamieson said the fire was caused by “electrical power that was  illegally diverted.”