Cannabis plants found after major fire in Nottingham as neighbours describe how ‘smoke made them choke’


Police found 120 cannabis plants at the scene of a major house fire in Nottingham where neighbours had to be evacuated as smoke billowed from building.

Emergency services rushed to Harwill Crescent, Aspley on Saturday (September 18) at around 5pm as flames engulfed a residential property.

The road was closed while five fire crews worked to get the blaze at the semi-detached house under control.

The road was closed by Nottinghamshire police and the fire service described it as a “serious incident”.

Officers said around 120 cannabis plants were found inside the loft, some of which were destroyed by fire. The rest were taken away by the Aspley neighbourhood team.

The electricity provider was also in attendance in order to cut the power, and police say early indications suggest the blaze was caused by the way the electricity had been manipulated.

Local resident have spoken of the dramatic scenes as firefighters worked to get the blaze under control.

A resident of Winsford Close, a street directly opposite to the house, who wished to remain anonymous, witnessed the events unfolding from start to finish.

She said: “I was looking at my window and saw some white smoke that really quickly turned into black, heavy smoke.

“I thought it was someone having a barbecue at first, but then I realised.

“I went outside the house and saw the smoke from the rooftop.

“The smoke was making us choke, it was really heavy.”

“The roof started collapsing brick by brick.”

The resident continued to explain that the emergency services arrived shortly after the roof started to collapse.

She added: “After it collapsed, there were big, huge flames and a big hole.

“I saw seven fire engines by the end once they closed the road off.

“I have never seen that happen before, I’ve lived here for eight years and it caught me completely off guard.

“I want to know what caused it.”

A Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said four pumps and two other appliances were sent to the house fire at 4.51pm and the last engine left the scene at 8.15pm.

Two police cars and a police van are still at the scene of the fire, Harwill Crescent, Aspley.

A resident of Harwill Crescent, who wished to remain anonymous, said she has lived on the street for eight years and never seen anything like it.

She explained how it was the children on the street that alerted their parents to the smoke.

She said: “My daughter came in saying she saw a lot of smoke.

“I ran outside and saw my neighbour banging on the window of the house.

“I could smell the smoke from my house and I could hear the tiles falling.

“Then that is when you could see the fire, it was really bad.

“It is the biggest one I’ve seen.”

Firefighters used three hydro jets, one main jet and breathing apparatus to put out the fire.

Andy Cutts, 47, a resident of Harwill Crescent, said he arrived at home to see the emergency services on his street.

He said: “I got back at around 6:15pm and I saw fire trucks down the street.

“There were also police officers.

“At that time, I couldn’t smell any smoke.

“The house was apparently empty.

“This type of thing hasn’t happened here before.”

Officers are now appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Neighbourhood Chief Inspector, Al Pearson, said: “No one was inside the property and thankfully there were no injuries as a result of this incident.

“Early indications suggest the blaze was caused by the way the electricity had been manipulated. Our enquiries are ongoing to establish who was responsible for the cannabis grow, and we’d urge anyone with any information that could assist to get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity.

“Not only is cannabis growing illegal but it can also be extremely dangerous due to the fire risk where electricity has been bypassed, especially if people are living in adjoining homes, where it poses a risk to neighbours.

“Information from the public is vital in helping us crack down on crime and I’d urge anyone with any information about suspected illegal activity in their community to get in touch with us.”

People with information are asked to call Nottinghamshire Police on 101 quoting incident 618 of 18 September.

Alternatively, please call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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