Crime & the Law

Investigation reveals Upminster fire was ‘inside a cannabis factory’

Damage in Upminster maisonette caused by cannabis  factory. Image:@LFB

Damage in Upminster maisonette caused by cannabis factory. Image:@LFB

An investigation into a serious fire in a maisonette in Upminster on 15th March has revealed it ‘was inside a cannabis factory.’

Six fire engines and 35 firefighters were called to the blaze on Station Road when part of the second floor and the roof was alight.

13 people from nearby properties had to be evacuated on the day of the incident.

Fire crews carried out salvage work in the neighbouring shops and properties.

There were no injuries.

The London Fire Brigade says:

Cannabis factory fires can be very severe because of the way criminals use unsafe wiring to illegally obtain electricity in order to grow the plants.

They’re often in top floors or lofts which means when a fire takes hold it spreads, destroying roofs and damaging neighbouring buildings.

Firefighters can also be exposed to risks when dealing with the fires because of bad wiring and booby traps at some of the properties.

It’s important that people know the key signs and inform the police so that they can act swiftly to prevent these dangerous fires.

LFB has provided a guide to help anyone spot the signs that a property may be used for large-scale cannabis growing:

  1. Strong and sickly sweet smell
  2. Large amounts of growing equipment
  3. Constantly covered or blocked off windows
  4. Visitors at unsociable hours
  5. Strong and constant lighting day and night
  6. High levels of heat and condensation
  7. Constant buzz of ventilation
  8. Lots of cables



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