Santa Cruz County

Aptos couple says county could have prevented fire that ruined their home

October fire allegedly was caused by nearby marijuana growing operation

Restitution sought after Aptos home destroyed

APTOS, Calif. - An Aptos couple claims Santa Cruz County officials failed to take action on a local pot growing operation resulting in a fire that destroyed their house.

Deborah and Mark Engel's home of 34 years on Forest Park Lane in Aptos was destroyed by fire in October. They say the fire was caused by a marijuana growing operation at the home next door - which the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office was aware of. They argue deputies could have helped prevent the fire by "abating the hazard."

The couple's claim went before the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, who rejected it and turned it over to the county counsel. the claim will now most likely go to the courts to deal with.

Central Coast News reporter Cassandra Arsenault spoke with the couple's lawyer and neighbors about the case in late March. That video is above.

The Engels' full claim can be read here.

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