Was cannabis farm to blame for this devastating blaze?

A HUGE blaze engulfed a house in Wigan which police believe was being used as an industrial scale cannabis farm.

Fire chiefs are currently investigating the cause of the fire at the property in Wigan Road, Ashton, which started at about 7.30pm on Monday.

The scene of a fire at a house, suspected to be a cannabis farm, Wigan Road, Ashton

The scene of a fire at a house, suspected to be a cannabis farm, Wigan Road, Ashton

Although the cause is still to be determined, a spokesman for Wigan Fire Service said it was thought to be an overheated lamp, or an electrical short circuit, which may have been used to grow cannabis in the attic.

The flames caused smoke damage to the first floor and destroyed the attic. It had also spread to the adjoining property, alerting neighbours.

A Wigan fire officer said: “The fire may have been accidental, but it is under investigation.

“There was damage to the first floor and the attic was completely burnt out.

“There was very slight damage to next door and there was smoke coming out of the eaves in three houses.

“We used two hose reels and five breathing apparatus. It was very intense and it took us a long time to put out the flames.

“The occupier of the house was not in the property at the time, but someone did turn up and then disappeared.

“We cannot be clear if it was a cannabis farm, but they are very dangerous and illegal.

“As they bypass electric supply, the power goes directly to the mains and you cannot isolate the supply.”

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said they were not looking into the matter until the fire investigation had been completed.

He said: “Police were called to Wigan Road, Ashton, following a fire at a house.

“The remnants of what is believed to have been a small cannabis farm were found inside.

“The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.”