Second suspicious fire at house where £400K drugs found

Some of the cannabis plants worth an estimated �400,000 seized by police in a house at Farkland, near Foreglen, just off the main Derry to Dungiven Road on October 23, 2014. (File pic)
Some of the cannabis plants worth an estimated �400,000 seized by police in a house at Farkland, near Foreglen, just off the main Derry to Dungiven Road on October 23, 2014. (File pic)

Police are appealing for information after a second suspicious fire at a house in Foreglen, near Dungiven, where an estimated £400,000 of drugs had previously been discovered.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “At around 10.30pm on Wednesday, 4th March, the Fire Service turned out to a fire at a house under construction at Farkland Road.”

Police said a “small amount of damage was caused to the interior of the house”.

Inspector Jenny Hudson said the “cause of the fire was being treated as suspicious”, and appealed for information from anyone who saw suspicious activity, or unknown cars in the area on Wednesday evening to contact police on the non-emergency number 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The Wednesday night blaze at the house on Farkland Road is the second within weeks. The first suspicious blaze occurred on February 5.

Cannabis plants worth an estimated £400,000 were seized by neighbourhood officers from Limavady in the two-storey property, which is off the main Derry to Dungiven Road, on October 23, 2014.

Chief Inspector Alan Hutton, the Area Commander, at that time described the find as “significant.”

“This was one of the largest finds in the North West for some time, and comes just a few weeks after police seized £1m worth of plants near Portadown,” said Chief Insp. Hutton.

“This was a sophisticated operation. The house had blacked out windows and a heat supply to the plants. Inside were about 900 plants at different stages of growth.”

At that time, a 25-year-old male was charged with drugs offences, while two other men aged 52 and 58 who were arrested were subsequently released pending further enquiries.