A man and his daughter were rescued from a burning building in Bideford on Saturday, thanks to the actions of a passing singing club and fire fighters.

A man and a young girl were rescued from a burning building in Bideford on Saturday, thanks to the actions of a passing singing club and fire fighters.

Members of Northam Choral Society were heading to The Joiners Arms in Bideford when they heard shouting coming from further up Honestone Street.

They went to investigate and found a man and child shouting from the first floor window of the Quaker Meeting House.

There was a fire on the ground floor, and the two people were trapped in the upstairs room, unable to get out.

The Quaker Meeting House in Honestone Street, Bideford, after the fire on Saturday, April 27. Picture: Sarah HowellsThe Quaker Meeting House in Honestone Street, Bideford, after the fire on Saturday, April 27. Picture: Sarah Howells

Society member Jeannie Smith said: "They were obviously very scared. One of the members had a 4x4 so he parked it right in front of the window.

"My husband climbed up onto the roof and managed to get the little girl, passing her down to us.

"She was very scared and told me there was also a baby tortoise in the house.

"The man managed to pass a cardboard box out of the window to my husband with the tortoise in.

"Then we heard the fire engines coming so we moved the car so they could park outside.

"The fire brigade did a fantastic job, they were there very quickly - it was just luck we were there at the right place at the right time."

Fire fighters from Bideford and Torrington arrived at around 9.45pm, and managed to rescue the man through the window, using the fire engine ladder.

They then set about tackling the fire, which is believed to have started in the ground floor living room.

Fire investigators and police scenes of crime officers carried out an examination to ascertain the cause of the fire and a scene guard was placed at the property.

A 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life. He has been released under investigation, pending further enquiries.

The road was closed by police and reopened around 8am the next day.

Any witnesses are asked to contact police via 101@dc.police.uk or phone 101, quoting crime reference CR/037017/19.

For a free home safety check, including the fitting of smoke alarms, call 0800 05 02 999.