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‘Extractor fan failure’ caused Crystal Palace fire in suspected cannabis factory, says brigade

A suspected cannabis factory fire in Crystal Palace was caused by an ‘extractor fan failure’.

Firefighters were called to a shop with flats above in Westow Hill on Saturday, July 3 after a blaze broke out shortly after 11am.

The alarm had been raised by a flat resident from an upper floor who could smell smoke coming from below.

The outbreak was under control by 12.57pm with the help of two fire engines and ten firefighters from West Norwood and Norbury stations.

Inspectors now believe the fire started from an extractor fan failure in a ventilation system.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “Firefighters arrived to find a small fire within an extraction system in the basement.

“Cannabis factory fires can be particularly dangerous 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 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 from happening.”


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