Cannabis found in fire at empty terrace house in Rhos


Rory Sheehan

CANNABIS plants were found in a house at the centre of a major fire incident.

Police say the drugs were recovered after the blaze at an empty house in Market Street, Rhos, yesterday morning.

The fire sparked a major security alert, with next door properties needing to be evacuated.

Other eyewitnesses said the fire, which saw smoke spread through a row of terraced houses, also filled the road with smoke.

Firefighters spent more than five hours at the scene and removed roof slates to douse affected properties with water.

Homes were evacuated and houses were damaged by smoke.

The fire started in an empty house next to a hardware shop and the cause was being investigated yesterday.

Nearby resident Chris Coles, 70, said  said: “I was woken up at 5.50am by banging on the door and shouts that there was a fire.

“I took a bit of a time to react, but could then see smoke developing in the house, coming in through the loft space, so I got out of there.

“It was a pretty scary experience.

“There’s a lady with children in the next house to mine and they’ve been evacuated. We’ve been lucky I suppose. The smoke was coming out of the roof next door.

“I haven’t been back inside yet, so I’m waiting to see the extent of the damage and whether I’ll be able to return.

“I’ve no idea how it started.”

Mr Coles said Co-op store worker Kelly Hilton was the hero, having raised the alarm on her arrival at work.

Ms Hilton, 24, from Whitchurch, said: “I arrived at about 5.40am to open up, couldn’t see any flames but saw the whole road was filling with smoke.

“I got the cleaner to call the fire brigade while I banged on the doors of the houses to get the neighbours out of there.

”I’ve never experienced anything like this before, but I didn’t have time to think about it. I did just what any normal person would do in that situation.

“It wasn’t a normal start to the day, but it’s a good to know everyone got out safely.”

Property landlord Ray Humphries said the relief that no-one was harmed overshadowed the financial headache he had been left with.

He said: “At least no one was hurt or injured, which is all I care about. Property can be replaced but people can’t be.

“I’m insured but that’s not the point. The loss of revenue and loss of income is annoying, but it could have been much, much worse.”

Insp Andy Jones, of North Wales Police said: “We can confirm cannabis plants were recovered from a house on Market Street, Rhos, after a fire at the address. An investigation is ongoing into the cause of the fire and the discovery of the cannabis plants. Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crime stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A spokesman for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “We received a call at 5.56am to attend a fire at properties in Market Street, Rhos.

“Four crews attended with an aerial ladder platform. The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation.”

A North Wales Police spokesman added: “We were called to assist the fire service. The cause of the fire is under investigation.”

See full story in the Leader

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