FIREFIGHTERS were called out after Westhoughton Town Hall was evacuated — because a bird in the clock tower set off the alarm.

An engine rushed to the building in Market Street at about 1.30pm on Tuesday when the alarm started to sound.

Staff members and any members of the public inside at the time had to be evacuated as part of procedure.

But when the firefighters turned up, nothing was found to be wrong at the site and the alarm was turned off.

And they later found that it was the alarm in the clock tower that had been triggered and firefighters concluded that it must have been set off by a bird.

Cllr David Chadwick, who saw the fire engine responding to the incident.

The Labour man, who represents Westhoughton South on Bolton Council and Central Ward on the town council, said: "From what I know, there was one fire engine that turned up with a crew because the alarm was going off.

"The firefighters went to have a look around and the gentleman in charge said the alarm was going off in the clock tower.

"And they said they thought it was triggered by a bird in the clock tower. That was the briefing we had."

Pigeons have often been spotted in the area of Market Street by the town hall and he said it is possible one of them set off the alarm in the clock tower.

He added: "Sometimes birds do get into the most unusual places."

Firefighters were at the scene for less than an hour as precautionary checks took place around the building.

The town hall is due to be updated as part of a £2.5million refurbishment.

The council wants to preserve and enhance the Market Street building to ensure that it can continue to act as a base for local services.

Work will include improvements to the heating, ventilation and lighting within the building.

Funding for the project is part of the council capital budget for 2017-2018.

The work is expected to start later this year.

The building will continue to be occupied throughout the refurbishment period.