A CANNABIS farm has been discovered following a house fire.

The plants were discovered by police at a boarded up property next door to the house where the fire had happened on Cobden Street, Darwen, at about 9.25pm on Wednesday. 

Officers found the small cannabis farm after the fire had been put out. 

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

Police are treating the fire as an arson.

The road had to be closed off during the fire which saw crews attend for several hours. 

A police spokesman said: “We were called to a house fire on Cobden Street, Darwen, towards the roof of the property.

“The property was empty and the fire is being treated as suspicious in nature and an arson investigation has been launched.

“Next door to the property, a small cannabis farm was found by police after the fire had been put out.”

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

Residents on the street said they had to be evacuated and reported seeing flames and smoke billowing from the house.

Kath Murphy, who lives on the street, said: “The fire happened at an empty house which is under renovation.

“I saw flames and smoke and glass breaking.

“There was a loud bang.

“All the residents on the street had to be evacuated while fire crews dealt with the fire.”

Another resident, Jim Wellfare, 66, said: “I saw lots of fire engines.

“There was smoke and flames coming from the roof.”

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

Mick Bury, 58, who also lives on the street, said: “I had just come home and I saw people on the street.

“There were fire engines everywhere.”

A resident, who preferred not to be named, reported hearing a loud bang and upstairs windows of the house blowing off.

They said: “I saw the fire start in an upstairs bedroom and it had spread through the house into the loft conversion.

“I saw the upstairs windows blow off and there were flames coming through the window.

“The whole street had to be evacuated.”

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

Another resident, who lives on Marsh House Lane, over a mile away from the fire, added: “I could see a hell of a lot of smoke and there were lots of fire engines.

A fire service spokesman said: “Three fire engines and the Stinger from Blackburn and Darwen along with an aerial ladder platform from Preston attended a terraced house fire on Cobden Street in Darwen. 

“Firefighters used breathing apparatus, two jets and two ventilation units to put out the fire.”