A CANNABIS factory burnt down after makeshift attempts to grow plants quicker failed.

Several outbuildings burnt down with firefighters called to the scene in Rawreth Lane, Rayleigh at around 4.11am on Monday morning.

Crews spent two hours tackling the flames and the burning drugs.

Inside some of the ruins, a large amount of cannabis plants was discovered as well as the remains of a hydroponic system which may have included attempts to transfer electricity to the site.

A spokesman for the fire service said: "Firefighters were called early on Monday to a number of outbuildings alight at the rear of a property in Rayleigh.

"Firefighters managed to extinguish the fire by 6am.

"An investigation is being carried out to find the cause of the fire."

An Essex Police spokesman said: "The local policing team responded to reports from ECFRS of a fire at an address in Rayleigh around 5am on Monday morning.

"On arrival it transpired an outhouse was on fire and a cannabis grow inside was uncovered."

Police seized multiple bags of cannabis at the scene, and have warned people of the dangers of such systems and being aware of how fires can easily start.

Resident Ian Brewers drove near the site when the fire was burning.

He said: "This must have been the fire I passed behind the Harvester at the Rayleigh Weir.”

A man has been arrested in connection with the incident and is awaiting an interview for drugs offences.

Anyone with information about drug crimes can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.