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Weapons, Drug Bust Home Burns to Ground in Los Gatos Mountains

Single-story property is destroyed by Monday morning fire, Cal Fire says.

Weapons, Drug Bust Home Burns to Ground in Los Gatos Mountains

A property in the 25000 block of Highland Way in the southeast Los Gatos Mountains burned to the ground Monday, the scene of a drug bust Oct. 4.

According to Cal Fire Capt. Scott Green, the fire was reported at 10:47 a.m. and totally engulfed the single-story residential home where Santa Cruz sheriff's deputies had arrested two town residents with loaded guns and meth earlier this month.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation, Green said.

The fire was contained at about 11:45 a.m. and was controlled at 2:36 p.m. No injuries were reported and fire investigators aren't sure if anyone was home when the fire broke out.

The value of the approximately 40-year-old home, or how much was lost in property assets is not known at this time. Due to nearby wild land on Radonich Road, a full response was activated, which involved two water tenders, seven fire engines, two air tankers, one helicopter and one air attack plane, and between 28 and 30 fire personnel, Green said.

Kenneth Cook, 36, and Tabitha Wilkerson, 25, were arrested in early October by Santa Cruz sheriff's deputies and were charged with being under the influence of narcotics and in possession of a sawed off shotgun and rifle.

A third Los Gatos resident, Crystal King, 24, was arrested and charged with being under the influence of a controlled substance.

The bust came after Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office personnel, Auto Theft Task Force personnel and Santa Cruz County Planning Department personnel served an inspection warrant at the residence.

While searching the residence, detectives found the loaded sawed-off shotgun, a loaded sawed-off rifle, ammunition and methamphetamine.

Santa Cruz sheriff’s deputies said they responded to the same residence last month after Leland Beller allegedly discharged a firearm and brandished a weapon at two persons on the property.

Beller fled the scene after the incident and a felony warrant has been issued for his arrest, charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm and brandishing a weapon. Beller was wanted by law enforcement.

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