Flatmates rescued from Bideford fire by 'heroic' rubbish collectors

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A pair of friends have thanked 'heroic' rubbish collectors who woke them up as a fire broke out in Bideford town centre.

The blaze took hold at 5.30 am on Wednesday above Specsavers in the high street.

Cat Willson and Kirsty Higgins, who live in a neighbouring flat, say they woke up to banging and two council workers telling them there was a fire.

Council workers saved the pair from the fire after their alarm didn't sound

"We were half asleep, grabbed our blankets and dressing gowns and had to run out," Cat said.

"Our fire alarm wasn't triggered for ages, it would have taken a while save for the fact that the council workers had come and woken us up. It was a blessing."

Kirsty added: "They were heroes. They literally saved us, genuinely."

The fire broke out early on Tuesday morning.

Incident commander Geoff Harding said there was 'significant damage' inside the top floor flat, which was unoccupied at the time.

"This is a big disruption to the town, but also to all the businesses in this part of the high street.

"We are still investigating it. There is a lot of debris inside the flat itself. We work closely with police investigation and insurance to try to understand what caused the fire."