POLICE have discovered a cannabis farm containing more than 50 plants at a Southampton home that was severely damaged in a fire.

The property in Ripstone Gardens had been structurally unsafe for officers to enter and carry out investigations despite finding evidence of drug production.

There had been a police guard to prevent anyone from gaining entry to the crime scene.

Four engines battled the blaze which completely destroyed the first floor of the semi-detached house and ripped through its roof.

According to police the blaze that happened in September was a case of suspected arson.

One neighbour who wished to remain unnamed said: “The neighbours woke me up banging on the door and saying get out “there is a fire”.

“When I got outside the top bedroom windows of the house were breaking then it spread across to the loft and roof. I have got a bit of water damage but I was lucky it could have been a lot worse.”

Police enquiries are ongoing as to whether the farm is linked to another cannabis factory discovered on River Walk.

Police rushed to River Walk in Townhill Park after residents reported being woken by the sound of gunfire.

Once there, they found a cannabis farm believed to contain more than 100 plants.

No one was at the address but a Jeep Cherokee containing a large amount of cannabis was then located nearby in Riverside Park.

On the same night, a man’s body was later found.