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Run rabbit run! Firefighters rescue Barney the bunny from roof of flats in Southend
9:19am Sunday 23rd September 2012 in News
A BUNNY boldly went where no bunny has gone before.
Barney the rabbit had a lucky escape after scaling the roof of a four-storey block of flats in Pleasant Road, Southend, on Saturday, September 22.
Sophie Witchell, 28, told her three-year-old son Logan not to be silly when he said his beloved pet had “gone”, but could not believe it when she saw his empty hutch on her balcony.
Miss Witchell and her boyfriend, Grant Wyatt, 29, had tried to coax him down with lettuce and carrots for almost two hours, but were forced to call in firefighters after their attempts were unsuccessful.
They were already dealing with a blaze in nearby Hartingdon Road when Mr Wyatt asked if they could help at about 7.40pm.
Miss Witchell said: “He was hanging on for dear life. I kept thinking he was going to fall down because he was slipping down the roof tiles as he got higher and higher.
“I was really worried about Logan too because he was saying we weren’t going to be able to get him down so I was trying to reassure him.
“He was giving the firemen high fives afterwards though and saying ‘fireman Sam saved Barney’, it was really lovely.”
It’s not the first time the one-year-old rabbit, who was adopted from the Pets at Home store in Southend, has escaped. Miss Witchell said he has got into her flat before and chewed television wires.
She added: “He is a bit mischievous.”
Ricky Jones, leading firefighter at Southend’s red watch, said the rescue was a first for the crew.
He said: “We’ve got two guys on the watch who are retiring soon and they’ve never been to anything like it in 30 years.”
Although the incident may sound trivial, Mr Jones said it presented some challenges.
He added: “Normally when we work at heights we have the aerial ladder platform out, but due to access problems we couldn’t get it in so that proved to be a problem.
“Working at height is a problem in itself, we have to make sure we’re safe as well.”
Mr Jones said two firefighters wore harnesses and used a roof ladder to reach the top of the building and after being given the runaround for almost 40minutes, they managed to trap Barney in a corner and put him in a pillow case.
Residents in other flats also helped out by holding towels in between their balconies to catch the rabbit in case he fell.
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