(CINCINNATI) -- At a news conference Monday afternoon, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said there was marijuana growing in a home on Squirrelnest Lane where a deadly fire occurred earlier this month.
However, Deters said the marijuana was in no way related to the cause of the fire.
Deters said the cause of the fire was a failing small oscillating fan in a cedar closet that was used to grow orchids.
Deters said there were five marijuana plants in a separate room in the basement, but adds that electricity to that room was on an entirely separate circuit than the room where the fire started.
"It would be like have a bag of a cocaine in a bedroom two floors above," Deters said. "It had nothing to do with the fire...it was not a contributing factor."
Deters said the owners of the home, Matt and Sharyn Cones, will face felony drugs charges for the illegal operation, but will not face any charges related to the fire. If the marijuana had contributed, Deters said he would have sought manslaughter charges.
"While this tragic situation has left our community grief-stricken, we must still evaluate the situation and apply the appropriate law," Deters said. "Sometimes the law does not correspond with the enormity of the tragedy."
Charges of cultivating marijuana will go to a Hamilton County grand jury on Friday. The weight and size of the plants will determine what degree of felony the Cones will face.
The investigation was turned over to the prosecutor's office after the state fire marshal determined the cause of the fire was electrical and started in the basement.
Captain Robin Broxterman and firefighter Brian Schira died in the fire on April 4.