AN inquisitive pigeon had to be freed by firefighters when it became stuck in a chimney breast.

The bird became wedged behind hardboard covering the chimney of a house on Rydal Grove in Whitefield.

Householders had been feeding it titbits since Saturday, and decided to call the fire service to free the bird late yesterday afternoon.

Fire fighter Mark Tomlinson broke through the hardboard to reach the bird and took it back to the station, where the soot was washed off. He said: "It was distressed, but we cleaned it up, gave it a drink and it finally flew away, apparently no worse for its ordeal."

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