A fire has destroyed a large agricultural structure located on Victoria Avenue, north of Highway 20, at the border of Pelham and West Lincoln.
Pelham Fire Chief Bob Lymburner said that the building at 1616 Victoria was fully involved on his arrival. In a media statement, Niagara Regional Police said that the blaze was initially reported at 6:40 Tuesday evening, Dec. 28.
Lymburner told the Voice that Pelham responded with four vehicles and 20 firefighters, while West Lincoln sent two vehicles and six firefighters.
No injuries or livestock were involved. Pelham cleared the scene at 1:30 AM Wednesday.
Sources tell the Voice that the one-time former poultry farm had recently changed ownership, and that a noticeable cannabis odour could periodically be detected emanating from the buildings.
The same sources assert that once the fire was put out and police entered the scene, they discovered some 4000 actively growing cannabis plants in a remaining building that did not burn. Niagara Police spokesperson Jesse Vujasic would not confirm this figure, saying, “The number of plants remains part of the ongoing investigation.”
In their media statement, the police noted that no one was present at the scene of the fire aside from first responders, and that “further investigation led detectives to believe the barn was a marijuana grow-op operation.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Niagara Regional Police Service at 905-688-4111, ext. 1009224.
Updated 12/30/21 with comment from an NRPS spokesperson.