Vancouver police did not have far to drive yesterday morning when firefighters called them to report a large marijuana grow-op.

The operation, which contained about 1,000 pot plants, was discovered at 124 West 6th Ave., only a few blocks from Vancouver police headquarters. Firefighters were originally called at 2:30 a.m. to deal with a small fire.

Capt. Gabe Roder, a spokesman for Vancouver Fire Department, said the city has roughly six fires every year that are caused by grow-ops and the “tremendous amount” of electricity required to run them.

“What they are doing is replicating the perfect growing climate,” Roder said. “Lots of light. Lots of heat.”

Grow-ops often draw more electricity than the grid can support. The large lights give off a lot of heat and the wiring is usually haphazard and temporary. Some even use gas-fuelled generators indoors.

Once, Roder said, firefighters were called to a warehouse fire in South Vancouver that started because operators had muffled a loud diesel generator with mattresses.

At mid-morning yesterday, Vancouver police, wearing filter masks, hauled large black garbage bags from the concrete building. A small window at the front was broken and the front door was dented from being pried open.