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Firemen stumble across cannabis factory in empty pub during routine fire check

PUBLISHED: 14:05 15 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:59 16 May 2018

Firefighters were called to a house blaze in White Hart Street, Thetford. Picture Gary Connelly.

Firefighters were called to a house blaze in White Hart Street, Thetford. Picture Gary Connelly.

Archant

A fire next door to an empty pub led firefighters to discover a large cannabis factory.

The Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service were called to reports of a house fire in White Hart Street in Thetford on Sunday, May 6.

Crews from Thetford and Watton attended the scene along with the police to extinguish the fire in the roof of the property at around 12.30pm.

When crews attended the scene there was reportedly no one in the property at the time of the incident.

But whilst undergoing routine fire checks of neighbouring properties, firefighters stumbled across an unexpected discovery.

In the empty Kings Head pub next door, which is currently on the market for sale, firemen found a large cannabis factory containing 672 plants.

A police spokesman said the firefighters entered the pub through the back door which is where the discovery was made.

Police were informed of the cannabis farm at around 1pm and the plants were seized. Police have not yet made any arrests.

This forms one of a string of discoveries made recently by police of cannabis operations across the county.

Last week police seized more than 200 plants in Norwich and arrested two men during a drugs warrant.

On Thursday, May 10, police arrested two men after they discovered a cannabis factory in Lowestoft which contained around 200 plants.

A cannabis factory was also discovered in Great Yarmouth on Wednesday, May 9 after emergency services attended a property over concerns of a liquid in a property.

On Wednesday, May 2, police searched a home in Norwich and found rooms with rows of the plants growing beneath lighting rigs.

Last month, a dog walker lead police to one of the largest cannabis factories in the county in Felthorpe, in which police seized around 4,000 plants.

They were being grown in a number of old sheds and greenhouses - siphoning off electricity in the process.

This comes after news of more than 500 arrests being made under Operation Gravity, which launched in 2016 in response to an increase in serious violent crime linked to county line drug dealing in Norfolk.

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