Neighbours describe shock as police discover cannabis plants after Wigan house fire

Greater Manchester Police say an 18-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis and abstraction of electricity

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 2:46 pm

Neighbours have spoken of their shock after police uncovered cannabis plants at a home after a blaze.

The plants were found by officers in the loft of a house in Vine Street, Whelley, after a fire broke out there at around 7.50am today (May 18).

A passing police patrol had spotted the fire which started in the loft of the property and left the roof badly damaged.

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Damage to the roof following the house fire in Vine Street, Whelley
Damage to the roof following the house fire in Vine Street, Whelley

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said they led one man to safety, who they said was treated by paramedics.

When three fire crews from Wigan and Hindley managed to bring the fire under control, officers discovered the plants.

An 18-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis and abstraction of electricity, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said.

Enquiries are currently ongoing.

Fire crews at the scene of the fire

A Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) van visited the scene as part of the police investigation.

Ana Carrasco, who lives with her partner Inigo Alvares, said: “We were just waking up at about 8am and saw a lot of smoke.

“We couldn’t really tell much but the smoke was quite a scary thing.

“All the neighbours were outside and we were all waiting to see what would happen. We stayed outside for about half an hour.

Firefighters and police in attendance

“The house was empty so we’re not sure how the fire started.

“I wasn’t expecting to get up this morning and see this.”

Other Vine Street residents described their shock at waking up to find the road full of emergency services’ vehicles.

One person said: “I heard the noises but to be honest I thought it was somebody having scaffolding put up or something like that. I didn’t realise there was anything wrong.”

The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

A GMP spokesman said: “Police found a number of what are believed to be cannabis plants when they discovered a fire in Wigan.

“GMFRS also attended after a passing police patrol spotted the fire on Vine Street at 7.50am.

“Officers discovered the plants in the loft of the property and an 18-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis and abstraction of electricity.”

A spokesman for GMFRS said: “At around 7.55am firefighters were called to reports of a fire at a home on Vine Street, Wigan.

“Three fire engines from Wigan and Hindley fire stations and a turntable ladder appliance from Stretford arrived quickly at the scene. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reels to bring the fire under control.

“Firefighters led one man to safety who was then assessed at the scene by colleagues from the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS).

“GMFRS crews remain at the incident.”

An ambulance service spokesman said: “We sent crews to the scene, but haven’t taken anyone to hospital.

“One casualty was treated at the scene.”

Anyone with information can report online or by using the LiveChat function at www.gmp.police.uk.

Alternatively, call 101 quoting log 613 of 18/05/2021 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.