Cannabis kit link to explosion

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A WOMAN has been evicted from her home after an explosion caused by equipment linked to cannabis production caused thousands of pounds of damage.

The semi-detached house in Dunelm Walk, Peterlee, was left badly damaged by the fire on the afternoon of February 10 last year, with the adjoining house also seriously affected.

The blaze meant tenant Hayley Evans and her family, along with their home-owning neighbour, had to move out of the houses while work was carried out to make the buildings safe.

Following an investigation between the fire service and police, it was found equipment used to cultivate cannabis had been stored in the master bedroom of the house and may have caused the explosion.

East Durham Homes (EDH), which owns the property, has now taken action against Ms Evans.

The landlord was granted possession of the property after a county court ruled there had been a serious breach of the tenancy agreement.

Michael Doyle, EDH’s director of neighbourhood services, said: “We have a dedicated enforcement team in place at East Durham Homes to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour.

“Eviction is a last resort, but we will not hesitate to take firm action in such circumstances.

“Our customers rightly expect us to deal firmly with the small minority who abuse their home in this way.”

Ms Evans, then aged 26, was treated in hospital after suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation following the fire.

The couple’s two children were at school at the time of the fire.

Ms Evans’s partner, Dean Day, 29, now of Station House, Murton, has been charged with causing £53,000 of criminal damage to property owned by EDH, and causing £33,000 of damage to property belonging to his neighbour and is awaiting a court date.

He was left fighting for his life in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary after sustaining serious burns to his hands and face.