CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A fire at a Kanawha City residence led to the discovery of approximately 100 guns, hundreds of thousands of rounds of ammunition and a marijuana grow, Charleston police said Wednesday.
Homeowner John Ferrell, 63, has been charged with marijuana cultivation and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.
It all started Wednesday morning when Ferrell called 911 and reported a fire on the fist floor of his Noyes Avenue home. Ferrell was trapped upstairs when firefighters arrived, Charleston Fire Department Lt. David Hodges said.
“There was very minimal visibility on the second floor where the victim was found. There was a significant amount of fire involvement on the first floor,” Hodges said.
Ferrell suffered from smoke inhalation and was rushed to Charleston Area Medical Center.
During the rescue, firefighters and later police officers noticed a large number of guns in the home and a marijuana grow.
“They were absolutely everywhere,” Charleston Police Department Lt. Mark Abbott said, describing it as an abnormal number of guns.
Abbott said most of the guns were long rifles. He anticipated it was going to take several hours to process the scene. He said the combination of guns and drugs isn’t a good one.
“That’s probably a major problem for him having all of those weapons in the house with an indoor grow,” Abbott said.
Abbott was at the residence when Ferrell returned from the hospital. He was still wearing a hospital gown.
“It was obvious he left the hospital in such a rush to get back where we were,” Abbott said.
There could be additional charges against Ferrell.
Fire department Captain Shane McComas was injured in the blaze. He suffered smoke inhalation and was taken to Cabell Huntington Hospital’s burn unit. He’s expected to make a full recovery, Hodges said.
“It was for precautionary (measures)–they have specialized treatment there. They can look at his airway,” Hodges said.