Investigators with the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office and Ontario Provincial Police could be on scene for several days at the site of a suspicious barn fire in Hamilton Township.
Police have confirmed with Today’s Northumberland the barn was a “large indoor marijuana grow operation.”
The fire destroyed a metal barn on Saturday, September 12, 2020 on Clarke McKinlay Road (south of County Road 9/Oak Ridges Drive) south of Gores Landing that was reported shortly after 2 p.m.
When fire crews arrived on scene on Saturday, there was heavy smoke coming from the east side of one of two barns which are 40′ x 200′ in size.
Assistance was called from neighbouring departments including Port Hope Fire Department and Alnwick/Haldimand Fire Department for manpower and to shuttle water.
Fire crews left the scene at 8 p.m. on Saturday night, but members of Northumberland OPP held the scene for investigation.
Detective Sgt. Rick Dupuis who is in charge of the OPP Street Crime Unit said they were notified of the suspicious fire from Northumberland OPP and Hamilton Township Fire Department.
“When fire and police arrived on scene a large indoor marijuana grow operation was discovered.”
The barn adjacent to the barn that burned was also a marijuana grow operation.
On Sunday, two investigators with the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office were working to examine the cause of the fire.
“Once their investigation is complete, we’ll initiate our investigation, which will be a criminal investigation under the Cannabis Act,” said Dupuis.
Dupuis said he’s directed his officers to obtain a search warrant that will be executed when the OFM has concluded their investigation.
“I can tell you that based on the initial (marijuana) numbers that have been given to me that if there is some legality to it, it’s well in excess the legal requirements.”
“We will be preparing a search warrant under the Cannabis Act to give us authorization to come in here – search and seize anything that’s relevant to any said offences.”