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More than 100 plants found in house after Ipswich cannabis factory fire

PUBLISHED: 14:25 20 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:25 20 February 2017

Police have removed cannabis from the scene of a house fire in Reading Road

Police have removed cannabis from the scene of a house fire in Reading Road

Archant

More than 100 plants were discovered after a serious fire broke out at cannabis factory in Ipswich, police have said.

A serious house fire in Reading Road, Ipswich, taken from above. Picture: Sky Cam EastA serious house fire in Reading Road, Ipswich, taken from above. Picture: Sky Cam East

The blaze began shortly before noon on Friday at semi-detached house in Reading Road which was being used to grow cannabis.

As yet no arrests have been made in connection with the discovery of the Class B drugs being grown inside.

Investigating officers have confirmed there was no one inside the premises when emergency services got there.

Equipment for large-scale cannabis production was found at the property.

Usually in such factories the electricity supply is bypassed in order to supply enough light for plants to grow.

It is believed the fire began as a result of an electrical fault.

Anne-Marie Breach, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “We can confirm that over 100 cannabis plants were recovery from the property, along with hydroponics and associated growing equipment.

“There are ongoing enquiries around how the plants came to be at the address and an investigation is underway to trace those responsible. “

A neighbour, an 89-year-old woman, was made homeless as a result of the blaze. Over the weekend her family were working with social services to find her a suitable place to stay.

The woman’s daughter, who wished not to be named, said: “She is alright now.

“She had a panic attack sitting here watching it all fall in.

“I lived here as a little girl and my mother has lived in this house for 52 years. But she is homeless now.”

Brown smoke could be seen billowing out of the roof as the fire, reported at 11.55am on Friday and put out at 4.45pm, tore through the building.

Police closed the road between Reading Road and Rushmere Road for several hours, putting a cordon in place at each end.

After the fire took hold one witness said: “Within 50ft of the house you can smell the smoke and feel the heat of the fire. You can see flames underneath the tiles.”

Speaking at the scene fire station commander Jon Southgate described it as a ‘substantial operation’. He said: “The sad thing with this is criminal activity has now jeopardised the life of the next door neighbour”

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