SHOCKED families were stunned to find out a home just metres from their door was being used to grow cannabis.

The home, in Keith Way, Southend, has been left uninhabitable after the huge blaze on Tuesday night.

Yesterday, emergency services confirmed that the home was being used as a cannabis grow and that officers discovered a number of cannabis plants inside.

Stunned residents admitted they had no idea the drugs were being grown in the home, and praised emergency services for their speedy response.

A shopworker who lives on the street said: “It’s good the police found this cannabis farm and we don’t want this going on here at all.

“I am very pleased to see these drugs have been taken off the streets and it stops the harm these substances could cause to people.

“It also helps to stops some of the criminality that goes on relating to drug crime. I also feel sorry for the owners of the home, regardless of the circumstances.

“It must be awful to lose a home and have this much damage caused to your property.”

Nearby residents were evacuated and the home owners are now homeless after the large fire completely destroyed the Southend home.

A father-of-three, aged 47, added: “I think its terrible and we don’t want our families around drugs and crime like this.

“It’s not nice to think this has gone on near where we live and raise our family. It sounds like some great work by the police and the fire crews.

“I am very glad to hear this cannabis farm was found and quickly removed.

It is reassuring to know these drugs will not get out in the community.

“We all know the issues, harm and damage drugs cause so it’s great to remove them.

“I hope the people behind this are found and given strong punishments, these crimes cannot go unpunished.

“We don’t want criminals like this in our city and communities and we shouldn’t have this going on.

“I did see the emergency services including the police and firefighters, I think everyone will be shocked about this.”