Cannabis factory goes up in smoke
5:00am Saturday 23rd August 2014 in By Dominic Gilbert
A CANNABIS farm in Coleview was uncovered this week after it caught fire when the diverted electrical system overheated.
Shortly after 9am on Wednes-day, fire crews were dispatched to the property in Nindum Road to reports of smoke billowing out of an upstairs window.
After breaking through the front door, firefighters discovered 200 plants. Police from Stratton and North Swindon attended.
The electricity in the three-bed home had been re-routed to bypass the electricity meter and had short-circuited, causing the fire.
A section of the road was closed throughout the day while officers removed the plants and equipment from the property, as well as towing away the car parked in the drive.
A 23-year-old man from Swindon has been arrested on suspicion of producing a Class B drug and extracting electricity without authority. He has been bailed pending further inquiries.
Neighbours said the house at the end of the street was known as the ‘mystery house’ because the occupants were so elusive.
Anne Murphy, 69, of Nindum Road, said the street was ‘chaos’ through the day with emergency services descending on the home.
“Not long after 9am we had one fire engine which was quickly followed by another,” she said.
“There was smoke coming out of the bathroom window initially so we thought it was probably a fire.
“The door was broken down because the firemen had to ram it in.
“The road was closed off, just the section around the house, through the day.
“There were lots of police cars coming and going, including forensics, and at about 6pm two big police vans came and parked on the drive.
“You could see they were bringing out big black tubes of aluminium which they had been using in the house.
“We all called it the mystery house because we never knew what was going on in there.
“We saw lots of people coming and going but they never lifted their head off the floor or said a word to anyone. We didn’t know who, what, or why.
“The windows and curtains were always shut, and there was never any sign of life in there.
“A for sale sign went up about eight weeks ago but came back down shortly afterwards.”
A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “Wiltshire Police were called at 9.18am on Wednesday by the fire service.
“They had been called to a residential property in Nindum Road, Swindon, following reports of a fire.
“The fire was quickly brought under control and during the investigation, officers found a quantity of what are believed to be cannabis plants inside the property.”
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.