FIREIFGHTERS were sent to tackle a house fire in Wath – and had to call in police after they discovered a cannabis farm inside.
Emergency services were called to the Packman Road property at 8am on Monday, August 27, to tackle a blaze that was raging through the first floor.
The road had to be closed for several hours while crews from Rotherham and Tankersley stations tackled the fire.
While at the scene, police retrieved 20 cannabis plants from the house and a 27-year-old man was arrested and later bailed to return to police custody.
Police said they believe the fire was caused by the overloading of circuits and plug sockets to facilitate the production and growth of cannabis.
Temporary Detective Inspector David Turner said: “The production of cannabis is a serious enough matter in the first instance and police officers in Rotherham are conducting search warrants and seizures on a regular basis.
“Together with the fire, believed to have been caused by negligent and reckless acts of overloading electricity systems and we have an added risk to neighbours and families.
“It is only due to swift attendance of the emergency services that a more serious incident did not develop here.”
Police are now advising the public to be aware of the risks associated with, not only the use of illicit drugs but also the fire hazards linked to the production of cannabis.
Officers say offenders also routinely divert an electricity supply to avoid paying for excessive use, so in addition to being dangerous to a neighbour it adds to their household bills.
South Yorkshire Police are urging anybody with information or concerns to get in touch by calling the non-emergency number 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.