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Fire exposes £100k drugs factory inside Yeovil house

By Western Gazette - Yeovil  |  Posted: October 25, 2012

  • Fire crews at the scene in Sherborne Road, Yeovil

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A huge drugs factory was discovered after a Yeovil house burst into flames.

The blaze at a cannabis farm inside a three-storey terraced home on Sherborne Road caused rush-hour traffic chaos on Monday evening.

Emergency services dealing with the incident uncovered a haul of more than 150 plants with a street value in excess of £100,000 inside the property.

The A30 was closed by police around 4pm, creating traffic gridlock between Yeovil and Sherborne. Elsewhere, tailbacks reached as far as Mudford.

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Police said a dangerous electrical setup in the house – thought to be linked to cannabis production – caused the fire. There were no reported injuries, but nearby residents were evacuated from their homes.

Yesterday morning police said they had yet to make any arrests in connection with the incident. The home remained under a police cordon and engineers had declared parts of the building structurally unsafe.

Neighbour Charlotte Johnstone said: “We were evacuated for three hours outside, but I couldn’t leave the outside of my property as I had to leave my front window and door open for the firemen to access the back of the burning building.”

Paul Bunt, head of drugs strategy at Avon and Somerset Police, said: “This is a significant seizure and we are carrying out various lines of enquiry.

“This incident demonstrates the potential dangers of abstracting electricity. The combination of water, humidity and electricity is potentially lethal and it is fortunate the property was unoccupied at the time.

“We will be continuing our investigation in relation to this incident and I would urge anyone with any information on it to contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

“Operation Viscount is continuing across Avon and Somerset. We will continue to be relentless in our efforts to disrupt, dismantle and destroy cannabis production and associated crime in our area.”

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