Dudley ‘cannabis factory’ fire victim named

Margaritis XhindiImage copyright
Family handout

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Margaritis Xhindi was a father to three children

A “trafficked” man who died after a fire at a “cannabis factory” has been named as Margaritis Xhindi.

Mr Xhindi, from Albania, died in hospital a day after the 4 June blaze at a unit on Premier Trading Estate on Leys Road, Brierley Hill, Dudley.

The 43-year-old had been pulled from the burning site along with another man in his 20s, who was also taken to hospital but later discharged.

Mr Xhindi’s family said he was a “wonderful father of three children”.

Their statement added: “He had worked very hard most of his life to provide for his family.

“Margaritis has touched the hearts of everybody who knew him and we are devastated with the sad news.”

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Police continue to investigate the scene of the fatal fire

West Midlands Police said it believed both men had been trafficked into the UK and were “effectively being held against their will”.

The force called the site a cannabis factory and said it was being used to grow the drug on an industrial scale.

It was locked when the fire broke out, police said, meaning the men had no way to escape.

Det Insp Jim Mahon said: “Mr Xhindi’s death is simply tragic. We’re working with colleagues from the fire service to establish the cause of the fire.

“We’re also in the process of carrying out a detailed forensic examination of the scene to try and identify who was involved in the cannabis [growing] and as part of this, we’re carrying out an extensive CCTV trawl of the area.

“A drone was flying over the unit when the fire first broke out and we’ve now spoken to the owner who is assisting us with our investigation.”

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