Article & Images by Valerie MacDonald

Investigators with the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office and the OPP were on the scene of a barn fire on Clarke/McKinley Road in Hamilton Township Sunday following a fire the previous afternoon that destroyed the structure.

OPP Sgt. Rick Dupuis confirmed to the News Now Network this morning it was an “illegal grow operation of cannabis.”

Firefighters and equipment were still on site securing and making the site safe for the investigators to enter, Northumberland OPP Acting Staff Sgt Kelly Mason said yesterday.

There were no injuries the Sept. 11 fire that started around 2 p.m., she said.

“Both investigations are going on at the same time,” she added.

Ontario Fire Marshal Investigator Jeff MacDonald estimated the structure was about 150 by 50 feet. He said the “large amount of the fire loss” was the reason he had been called in but declined to comment further on Sunday.

No officials could provide an estimate of that loss at press time or what the barn was previously used for but some hay bales could be seen stored on the west end.

The owner’s son, Craig Brad, declined to comment about the fire.

Editor’s Note: (This just in!) On Saturday, September 12, 2020, members of the Northumberland Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) attended an address on Clarke-McKinlay Rd in Hamilton Township to assist the local fire department with a structure fire. The structure in question was subsequently determined to be a large indoor marijuana grow operation. Investigators from the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office are currently investigating the scene. Upon the conclusion of their investigation, the Northumberland OPP Community Street Crime Unit will be conducting a criminal investigation.

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