Published: 09:00, 22 October 2014
| Updated: 09:16, 22 October 2014
A huge cannabis factory has been discovered in Folkestone town centre after a fire at an empty shop.
Police are investigating today after more than 300 plants were found in the premises when the blaze was reported at 9.30pm yesterday.
A forensics team were at the property in Guildhall Street after the plants - worth an estimated £500,000 - were found and have been carrying out more investigations today.
Fire crews were initially called out to reports of the fire after an "electrical fault" in the basement of the disused shop.
Flames severely damaged the flat and heat and smoke rose into the building's two floors above, a former pet shop on the ground floor and flats.
But police were called in at 9.50pm following the discovery of the drugs and several pieces of equipment associated with cultivating cannabis.
The entire building was unoccupied at the time, no injuries were reported and firefighters said they believe that the fire stemmed from an electrical installation.
Two fire engines were sent from the Folkestone stations and firefighters were at the scene for three hours.
A police spokesman said: "Police are investigating after a cannabis factory was found at a building in Guildhall Street, Folkestone.
"Between 300 and 400 plants with an estimated street value of between £300,000 to £500,000 have been seized along with equipment believed to be used for the cultivation of cannabis.
"Police remain at the scene while inquiries are ongoing."