FIREFIGHTERS descended on Dudley Zoo and Castle last night for a training exercise.

Dudley Fire Station had warned residents not to be alarmed if they saw smoke and fire engines on the Castle Hill site, as firefighters were at the zoo

Firefighters from the station tweeted saying: "Please don’t be alarmed this evening around @dudleyzoo as @WestMidsFire @SWMFireControl are supporting the zoo with a training exercise, there will be simulated smoke and fire appliances on site with zoo staff."

West Midlands Fire tweeted: "Some of our crews are training at #Dudley Castle tonight.

"The scenario involves a fire in the undercroft - with the added complication of a few zoo animals to consider!"

The exercise saw volunteers playing the roles of casualties. Around six fire engines and 35 firefighters took part, including a technical unit.

Carl Hill, watch commander at Dudley Fire Station, said the exercise involved a simulated fire which had been set by intruders in the castle's undercroft room which houses armoury and the nearby creepy critters experience.

There was then a simulated incident which saw one of the intruders slip from the top of the castle onto a ledge, with firefighters using a rescue dummy to carry out a rope rescue.

He said: "In conjunction with zoo staff we were testing our processes like sourcing water supplies - all in all it went really well."