AN 18-month-old baby and a woman were treated for smoke inhalation after a fire broke out at a cannabis farm.

The blaze which broke out at a property on Riding Close, Clock Face, had spread to adjoining houses.

Firefighters spent nearly two hours tackling the fire from around 5pm on Tuesday (August 20).

An 18-month-old baby and a 19-year-old woman from a neighbouring property, not linked to the home where the cannabis farm was found, were treated for smoke inhalation.

Police also attended and seized a cannabis farm worth nearly three quarters of a million pounds.

Police are working with the fire service to establish the full circumstances but say early indications are that the fire was caused by an electricity meter being bridged as a cannabis farm was discovered at the residential property.

Enquiries continue to find the occupants and those responsible for the cannabis farm.

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Firefighters tackling the blaze

At the property, 187 cannabis plants were discovered, with 19 damaged by the fire, along with equipment. The farm had a potential yearly yield of approximately just under £750,000.

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DI Jackie Guinness said: “It is totally unacceptable that the actions of these criminals have caused a toddler and a young woman to suffer such effects as a result of their neighbours setting up a cannabis farm in a residential area. The risks of living close to this location are plain to see, with flood and fire risk inevitable, plus the serious and violent crime that cannabis supply attracts.

“It is believed that the occupants of the property are not the owners as the house is a private rental property. I would like to appeal to all landlords and property owners renting out a house to ensure the references you obtain from potential tenants are relevant and satisfactory and that you know who your tenants are.

“If you suspect that cannabis is being grown near you, get in touch and we will investigate further and remove the risk. It is vital that we keep dismantling cannabis farms and rid our communities of those criminals that endanger the lives of others."

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A Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: "Crews were alerted at 5.04pm and on scene at 5.11pm. Three fire engines attended and crews remained at the scene until 6.54pm."

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Following the incident police have released a list of some of the signs that cannabis is being grown:

• Strange smells and sounds

• Frequent and varied visitors to a property, often at unusual times

• Gardening equipment being taken into a property, such as plant pots, fertiliser, fans and industrial lighting

• Windows are sealed and covered or the curtains are permanently closed

• Heat from an adjoining property

• Birds gathering on a roof in cold weather

• Individually these activities may seem commonplace, however, together may indicate something more sinister

Anyone with information on suspected cannabis growing in their community can contact @MerPolCC, call 101 or come forward anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.