updated 7/16/2009 8:12:34 PM ET 2009-07-17T00:12:34

Police said a woman defied a warning not to venture onto the second floor of a Philadelphia-area house because an alligator was kept there, and uncovered an operating marijuana lab.

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She tipped police, who searched the house in Darby, just west of Philadelphia.

Police Chief Robert Smythe said Wednesday the officers found heat lamps, fans, soil-testing gauges, gardening chemicals and plants that would yield "a very high-end marijuana."

Police seized a rifle, two handguns and ammunition for a .30-caliber automatic weapon. The woman and her son, whose names weren't released, have been moved to safety. Authorities are searching for two people who lived at the house.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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