FIVE people had to be rescued by firefighters following a blaze at a three storey building in West Kirby.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service was called to the house - which had been converted to flats - close to Meols Drive at 9.33pm on Saturday following four calls about the fire.

The fire had taken hold on the ground floor and firefighters had to rescue four people using ladders - two from the first floor window and two from the second floor balcony.

It is understood one woman evacuated the building before firefighters arrived.

Another woman was also led to safety from the property.

All six occupants were checked at scene by paramedics and four people were taken by ambulance to Arrowe Park Hospital for a precautionary check-up.

Station Manager Mark Thomas, who attended the call-out, said: “Crews from West Kirby, Upton and Heswall community fire stations attended the property and on arrival firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were committed to tackle a fire on the ground floor involving an electrical intake to the building.

“There were a number of people at windows in the building on the first and second floors when firefighters arrived.

“There were large volumes of smoke and heat and this had blocked the exits to the premises for those people inside. Firefighters used nine-metre ladders to go to their aid and helped two people from the second floor and two people from the first floor to safety.

“Fire crews will also be visiting the property and surrounding area to highlight the importance of having working smoke alarms on each level of people’s homes.”

The fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault.

“The Merseyside Fire and Emergency Support Service (FESS) vehicle, which is run by volunteers with the British Red Cross, also attended Arrowe Park Hospital to offer support to three of the people who had been rescued,” Station Manager Thomas added.