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Police discover basement cannabis factory while attending fire

PUBLISHED: 12:57 22 November 2012

Police attending a fire in Forest Gate last week were shocked to discover the cause was an overheated cannabis factory..

On Sunday November 11, officers were called to a residential address in Shrewsbury Road at around 11.15pm following reports of a fire.

The London Fire Brigade also attended to extinguish the blaze.

An inspection of the property revealed that all the smoke alarms had been dismantled because the basement had been converted into a cannabis factory.

The electric meter had been bypassed and a hydroponics system had been set up for the purpose of cultivating the illegal drug.

The cause of the fire was believed to be the overloaded electrical wiring that had been put in place to help speed up the growth of the plants.

Police arrested a 37-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman for cultivation of cannabis.

The man was taken to an east London police station from where he was bailed to return on January 15 whereas the female was given bail at the scene to return on the same date.

Det Sgt Roger De Graaf said: “The basement of the premises and the contents of the room were all destroyed in the fire. “The suspects were in the premises with a two and ten-year-old child who were all lucky to escape without injury. “Cannabis factories are potentially very dangerous and would ask that if you have any concerns about any cannabis cultivation then to please contact us .

“Community intelligence passed to us will be dealt with as quickly as possible and carefully assessed before, and if, any action is taken.

“We will then tell communities what action we have taken to address these issues.”

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