On Monday, January 31, 2011, at approximately 1 p.m., York Regional Police, the Whitchurch Stouffville Fire Department and York Region Emergency Medical Services responded to a house fire at 55 Merdock Court. Two victims located on the main and upper floor of the home were evacuated by two citizens who provided assistance and shelter. They were treated for minor injuries as a result of the fire. The home sustained damage estimated in the area of $450,000.
A joint investigation by officers from the Drugs and Vice Unit and the #5 District Criminal Investigations Bureau, in conjunction with the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal, has revealed that the fire started due to activities that were consistent with illicit drug production. Investigators believe that the basement area of the home was being used as a laboratory to process marihuana into Cannabis Resin.
As a result, on the afternoon of Monday, January 31, 2011, the 29-year-old basement occupant was arrested without incident.
• Mark Edward FRENCH, 29, of Stouffville
• Production of a Controlled Substance
• Possession of a Controlled Substance
• Breach of Probation
Mr. French has been held in custody and is scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket on Friday, February 4, 2011.
The investigation is ongoing at this time.