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London Fire Brigade's 12 days of Christmas

London Fire Brigade want to highlight time-wasting and non-emergency calls Credit: David Jensen/EMPICS Entertainment

A kitten with its head stuck in a bongo drum, a French man asking to translate a word and a swan swimming on a frozen lake are just three of the weird examples highlighted by the London Fire Brigade in a bid to drive down non-emergency calls and time-wasting.

Throughout the twelve days of Christmas the Brigade's twitter account will be sending out messages reminding people only to dial 999 in a genuine emergency.

In the past five years LFB has received 8,600 hoax calls, 1,543 instances of people stuck in everyday objects like toilet seats or furniture, and 2,868 calls to rescue animals. In these instances the London Fire Brigade says the RSPCA should be called instead.

The tweets will come with the hashtag #12DaysXmas, but despite the festive feel Director of Operations, Dave Brown said there was a serious reason behind the bizarre stories: "We are regularly called to deal with a lot of incidents which could be avoided. We want everyone to have a good Christmas, but remember that silly pranks and time wasting calls cost us time, money and resources."

Sixty firefighters tackle flames in block of flats

A fire engine on the scene in Kensington Credit: @LondonFire/Twitter

Around 60 firefighters are currently dealing with a fire on the fourth floor of a block in Kensington.

Crews were called earlier this morning to the building on Appleford Road.

The Fire Brigade tweeted that one flat on the fourth floor was alight.

This story will be updated as we get more details.

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Firemen rescue horse stuck in the mud the day before the Grand National

London Fire Brigade pulled out all the stops to rescue a horse that fell into a ditch a day before the Grand National.

Cody the horse got stuck in the mud in Belvedere this afternoon Credit: London Fire Brigade
He was quite distressed by the incident but thankfully not injured Credit: London Fire Brigade

Firefighters said the horse, called Cody, was distressed by the accident but didn't seem to have any injuries.

They were called just before 1.30pm this afternoon to Anderson Way in Belvedere, and it took an hour and a half to pull Cody out, who by then was covered head to hoof in mud.

Cody was finally pulled out safe and sound around 3pm Credit: London Fire Brigade

Cody is now back with his owners and being checked over by a vet - but definitely won't be joining in the race tomorrow.

Fire safety warning to high rise landlords

High rise landlords warned about fire risks Credit: PA

London Fire Brigade is warning landlords of high rise buildings in the capital they must do more to protect their tenants from fire.

New figures reveal there are on average nearly two fires a day in purpose built flats in London, while half of high rise residents are still likely to make potentially lethal decisions in the event of a fire in their block.

The Brigade has produced a new video as part of the Know the Plan campaign.

It was launched following a recommendation to increase public awareness of fire safety for people living in high rise buildings, after the 2009 Lakanal tower block fire in Camberwell, in which six people died.

Firefighters blame government for upcoming strike

The Government has been accused of refusing to negotiate with firefighters ahead of a fresh strike over pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union will walk out for 24 hours from 7am tomorrow, forcing brigades across the country to put contingency plans in place.

The union says improvements have been made in Wales, Scotland and Ireland but not England.

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