South Australian police have uncovered the remains of an illegal cannabis crop after a garage caught fire in Mount Gambier.
The Metropolitan Fire Service was called to a home in Mount Gambier just after 1 pm on Monday afternoon after reports of a garage fire. Mount Gambier is located close to the SA/VIC border.
The scene was initially attended by four firefighters, who were able to get the fire under control in around 40 minutes. Mount Gambier police crime scene investigators were then brought in, leading to the remains of an illegal cannabis operation being discovered.
Police located the remains of 12 cannabis plants, which were being grown at the property using hydroponics equipment. Police believe the garage fire could have been started by an electrical fault with the hydroponics equipment.
A spokesperson for the MFS told Adelaide Now that the fire caused around $10,000 in damage to the garage. The fire did not spread to neighbouring properties or the home, but smoke leaked out of the property into the neighbourhood.
It was well involved on fire on arrival with some smoke emanating from the property. While the shed is damaged, there is potential for it to be repaired.
No one was at the scene when MFS and police arrived, and no one has been reported to be injured. The property is located on the corner of Creek St and O’Connor Drive.
This is the second hydroponics operation to catch fire over the past week as 80 cannabis crops were found in Parafield Gardens after a fire on Saturday afternoon. Police suspect the fire was started by equipment that was diverting electricity to the property.
Police are currently appealing to the public for information on both incidents, and are continuing their investigations.