A VILLAGE is in shock after a secret cannabis farm was discovered following a blaze at a house.
Hundreds of cannabis plants were found in the garage and three upstairs rooms of the home on Earlsway, Staining.
And it is thought the cannabis farm sparked the fire, which broke out in the garage of the property on Sunday morning.
Police – who estimate they’ve recovered around 300 plants from the property – believe the blaze may have been caused by overloading the electricity.
An investigation has now been launched to establish who is behind the drugs farm.
Det Sgt Jane Atkinson, of Blackpool CID, and said: “Following a fire at an address in Staining, we have launched an investigation after the discovery of a cannabis factory.
“A number of plants and equipment have been seized which have now been taken off the street and out of circulation.
“We are carrying out a number of inquiries including house-to-house and we would ask anyone with information to contact Blackpool police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”
The plants which were seized have been described as “mature”.
Local councillor John Singleton watched the drama unfold as police swarmed on the house at around 11am.
Coun Singleton, who lives nearby, said: “It was all the talk of the village – it’s not often we get this type of growing of plants in houses.
“Everyone was very surprised it could happen.
“It appears whoever is responsible could have been cultivating cannabis for sometime. One of the neighbours saw smoke coming out of the roof of the property and notified the fire brigade.
“The police cordoned off the property for most of the day and made some house to house inquiries. We saw a big light being taken away from the rear of the property.
“Strange smells from the property were detected by local residents on Staining Rise last year but nothing was done.”
The fire brigade were first on the scene and notified the police after discovering the plants.
The blaze caused severe fire and heat damage to the garage as well as light smoke damage to the house.
The house was empty and a police investigation is now under way.