Fire in New York apartment building exposes huge stash of marijuana

Jennifer Tzar, 44, allegedly had 10lbs (4.5kg) of weed stuffed in plastic bags and left in plain sight inside her fifth-floor apartment at 68 Thompson St., where the three-alarm blaze was extinguished at about 4.30am local time, the New York Post said. “It was high quality,” one source said.

The discovery brought a small squadron of plainclothes cops to the block, where they grilled shell-shocked tenants huddled on stoops and standing on the sidewalk. When Tzar told cops where she lived, they slapped her with handcuffs and hauled her off to the police station, where she was charged with first-degree possession of marijuana, sources said. The stash has a street value of $500 an ounce (28g), sources said, making the seizure worth an estimated $80,000.

Tzar – who has shot edgy fashion pics of celebs like Ozzy Osbourne and has had spreads in Vogue and Rolling Stone magazines – was awaiting arraignment today. A spokesman for the building manager did not return a call requesting comment. The fire department called the blaze an accidental electrical fire that began in the basement. It was not clear whether the fire was connected to renovations of a ground level cafe. Ten firefighters and one female tenant were taken to Bellevue and Beth Israel hospitals for mostly minor injuries, authorities said.

The Buildings Department ruled the 106-year-old building unsafe for residents and issued a “full vacate” order. “There was a lot of smoke in the middle of the night, and then I saw flames inside the courtyard,” according to Natalie Swan, an actress and resident for 30 years. “They broke into my apartment, broke the door down. I’m in shock.”

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