POLICE swooped on a cannabis factory at a small industrial estate after a blown fuse aroused suspicions.
High-powered lamps used to cultivate hundreds of plants used so much electricity they blew the fuse and started a small fire.
About 200 plants were found in rooms at Silverdale Park, Station Lane, Mickle Trafford, about 8pm last Tuesday.
A 57-year-old man from Helsby and a 40-year-old man from Leigh, Greater Manchester, were arrested on the premises and were being questioned.
Police were tipped off after a maintenance man called in ScottishPower due to electrical problems when a fuse blew and set on fire. A monitor revealed high levels of power being consumed even during the middle of the night.
Inside police found a hydroponics set-up which usually includes high-powered lamps, so the plants grow as though in daylight 24 hours a day, an irrigation and ventilation system plus fast-growing fertiliser.
It is understood the suspects were not living in the premises but had allegedly gone to tend their plants when arrested.
Neighbouring businesses had suffered a series of electric supply problems in recent weeks.
Inspector Phil Hodgson, who heads up the Western Rural area, said this was the first cannabis factory to be uncovered on his patch so far this year.
He said: “We will take a selection of cuttings for evidential purposes and a professional company will ensure the rest are destroyed.”
Insp Hodgson confirmed two men were helping police with their enquiries.
“The plants are thought to be at various stages of development,” he added.