4 hurt in apartment fire; Cannabis farm, explosives found next door
Police in Friesland said that an apartment fire in Sneek which injured four people led to the discovery of what they called a cannabis plantation at a neighboring home. Authorities later said the cannabis was believed to be for personal use.
They also said they found explosives at the second location. A 47-year-old man was taken into custody in the case.
The conditions of the injured people were not disclosed. They were taken to an area hospital for treatment.
First responders were dispatched to an apartment building on Rijperahemstraat for a fire in a third-floor flat just before 6:55 p.m. on Friday. Firefighters quickly elevated the alarm, and by 7:05 p.m. a Grip 1 local disaster was declared. About fifteen minutes later, authorities issued a NL-Alert to people in the region because of the heavy amount of smoke.
When the blaze was reported, the fire department was initially unable to determine if anyone was inside the home. They later said the resident made it outside safely. Several surrounding homes were cleared as a precaution.
"A cannabis plantation was found during the evacuation of the adjacent houses," police said. "That is why this house was made a crime scene and further investigation was carried out. A possible explosive device was also found during the investigation.
The fire was extinguished by about 9:45 p.m. Residents were not allowed back into their homes until after the suspected explosives were dealt with by a disposal unit.
One person was arrested after the discovery. The case was still under investigation. "The suspect, a 47-year-old man, states that he has found the historical explosives as a hobby in various countries," police said.
"The cannabis plantation turned out to be a small cannabis plantation for private use. The suspect is still in detention and is being questioned on both cases," police said Saturday morning.
A combination of the flames and the developing criminal case brought several onlookers to the scene. Firefighters sent out several messages asking people to avoid the area and return to their homes.