Puppy rescued as blaze rips through suspected cannabis factory in Harlesden
PUBLISHED: 13:54 20 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:54 20 February 2017
An abandoned puppy was saved by firefighters after a blaze broke out at a suspected cannabis factory in Harlesden.
Crews were called to a terraced house in Nightingale Road at 6.10am on Sunday and were met by a neighbour who said someone was inside the property.
Wearing breathing apparatus firefighters forced entry into the property and while they found no people, saw a puppy cowering in a ground floor room.
The puppy, which fire crews have nicknamed Smokey, was taken to safety and given oxygen by firefighters and did not suffer any serious injuries.
Part of the ground floor, stairs and first floor of the property, which fire officers believe was being used as a cannabis factory, was damaged by fire.
Smoke alarms were fitted in the ground and first floor hallways but neither sounded as their batteries had been removed.
Simon Tuhill, the Fire Brigade’s Borough Commander for Brent, said: “Thankfully Smokey the puppy was not seriously injured in this fire after a neighbour raised the alarm.
“It appears the fire had been going for some time before the alarm was raised and crews faced very difficult conditions when they forced entry into the property.
“Cannabis factory fires can be very severe because of the way criminals use unsafe wiring to illegally obtain electricity in order to grow the plants.
“Fires at cannabis factories are also extremely dangerous to crews because of bad wiring and booby traps at some of the properties. Despite being faced with dangerous and difficult conditions, crews did exceptionally well in bringing the fire under control.
“In this instance, there were also no smoke alarms in the property. Smoke alarms provide a vital early warning and buy you extra time to escape if there is a fire. Not only can they alert people in the property, but they can also help to alert neighbours.
“Everyone should have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and the safest option is have those linked together. This will give the earliest warning if there is a fire in your home.”
The fire was under control by 8.50am
Two fire engines from Willesden and Park Royal fire stations attended the scene.
The fire is under investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service.