Two people have been arrested after a fire broke out in a cannabis factory thought to contain 200 plants.

The fire, which started last night in the flat above a shop in West Barnes Lane, New Malden, is believed to have been caused by carelessly disposed cigarettes. 

A spokeswoman for the London Fire Brigade said they were called just before 6.30pm by the shopkeeper, who had seen flames coming out of the window of the flat above his shop.

Firefighters rescued one man from the flat, who was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. The fire was under control by 6.53pm.

Following the discovery of the cannabis plants, the fire service called the police at around 7pm. 

A spokesman for the police said: "Police attended reports of a house fire in West Barnes Lane with the London Fire Brigade in attendance. 

"The London Fire Brigade had entered the property and found a cannabis factory within containing approximately 200 plants." 

Following the discovery, two people were arrested on suspicion of the cultivation of cannabis. They remain in custody.

The Brigade spokeswoman said: “There were no working smoke alarms in the property.

"Everyone should have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and the safest option is to have those linked together.

"This will give the earliest warning if there is a fire in your home."