Cannabis factory discovered in Upminster fire flat

PUBLISHED: 14:17 01 April 2015 | UPDATED: 14:56 01 April 2015

Flames could be seen above the building. Picture: David Stainer

Flames could be seen above the building. Picture: David Stainer

A huge fire that ripped through a maisonette and forced residents to flee their homes was caused by a cannabis factory, detectives believe.

Prestige Bedrooms after the fire in the maisonette abovePrestige Bedrooms after the fire in the maisonette above

Thirteen people could only watch as flames towered over their building in Station Road, Upminster late on March 15.

The blaze, which was caught on CCTV by an onlooker, continued into the early hours of the morning and was tackled by 35 firefighters.

When inspecting a flat, officers found a number of cannabis plants, and they are now appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.

The owner of Prestige Bedrooms, which is underneath the flats, had just completed a £50,000 refurbishment when it was gutted by the fire.

He said: “It’s shocking and I’m very upset that it has been destroyed because of such wanton, illegal activities right in the heart of Upminster.

“It’s costing me an absolute fortune in losses and the shop still hasn’t been touched while they sort out the flat above. But we’re still open for business!”

One man has been interviewed under caution, but no arrests have been made.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Havering CID via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously 0800 555 111.

Prestige Bedrooms can be contacted on 01708 224545.

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