Cannabis farm found in fire-destroyed Liverpool house

Fire damage Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption The fire destroyed the house in which a large cannabis farm had been set up

A large cannabis farm has been found following a house fire in Liverpool.

The plants were discovered after Mersey Fire and Rescue Service was alerted to a blaze at a terraced house on Oakfield Road, Anfield, at 09:30 GMT on Monday.

About 350 plants and equipment filled three rooms and the loft of the property, which is believed to have been uninhabited.

Merseyside Police said the fire may have been caused by a make-shift system of heating and lighting in the house.

Crews discovered the blaze on the landing area.

A search revealed electricity had been taken by bridging the meter in the property.

A utility company was called to make the house safe.

Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption About 350 cannabis plants were found

Police are trying to trace those responsible for the cannabis farm.

Sgt Angie Norstrom said cannabis farms are "a huge fire hazard due to the dangerous and illegal way that the electricity supply is tampered with".

"Criminal gangs use lots of small properties such as flats or terraced houses to spread their risk... putting those residents and business owners at risk," she added.

Signs of a cannabis farm include:

  • Strange smells and sounds
  • Frequent and varied visitors to a property, often at unusual times
  • Gardening equipment being taken into a property, such as plant pots, fertiliser, fans and industrial lighting
  • Windows sealed and covered or curtains that are permanently closed
  • Heat from an adjoining property
  • Birds gathering on a roof in cold weather