Man arrested after fire at cannabis factory in Stafford
A man has been arrested after a house fire in Stafford alerted the police to a cannabis factory.
Fire crews were called out a terraced house in Meyrick Road at around 6.15am yesterday morning. The fire took place in an upstairs bedroom.
A man, aged 36, and a 33-year-old woman were both treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.
Police are investigating and officers were seen seizing a variety of items from the home yesterday, including a number of power supplies, wires and electrical items.
Duty Inspector Jon Townsend, of Staffordshire Police, said: "We had a call from the fire service at around 6.45am asking us to attend the fire.
"When we arrived the fire service said it appeared people had been growing cannabis inside. We are now dealing with the scene and have seized the items related to the cultivation.
"One male has been arrested on suspicion of cultivating or growing cannabis.
"When we first arrived at the property, we had to do a lot of waiting around. We had officers guarding the property while the fire service made it safe and had to wait for the electricity board to turn off the electrics, as generally speaking people tend to divert electricity to divert the lamps to grow the plants."
A total of 15 firefighters and one officer from Staffordshire Fire attended the scene. The last crew did not leave the address until 11.50am.
Watch manager at Stafford fire station, Darren Turner, said the fire had caused a lot of damage to the front room and there was smoke damage to two or three other upstairs bedrooms.
"The fire had actually burned through the carpet, the underlay and through the floorboards," he said.
"There was a big hole around the size of a football burned through the floor boards. The house was also heavily smoke logged."
Neighbours living on Meyrick Road said they had seen and heard very little about the fire and only knew about the blaze because they saw the fire engines and police vans.
Father-of-two Vince Brown, 48, said: "It's a bit frightening as all the houses are so close together - all the lofts were linked at one point.
"The fire didn't wake us up, but we obviously heard the fire engines come down the road. We were the first ones out this morning and saw three fire engines, an ambulance and police officers. I saw two people go into an ambulance to be checked over - a man and a woman.
"Nobody could get out of the road this morning because of all the vehicles and the hoses running down the road.
"We could only smell smoke in the back garden, but it was more like someone was having a barbecue."
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