DOZENS of fire fighters were called to a self storage business in Worcester on Sunday, but despite appearances the event was actually just a drill.

Eight engines filled with around 60 fire fighters could be seen at Green Self Storage in Hylton Road Sunday morning as they prepared to enter the building to practice not only putting out the supposed fire but also rescuing casualties.

In total there were three people needing to be rescued, who were stationed inside the building, which is a series of corridors containing storage units.

Toby Kempton, station commander, said he was pleased with the practice as all three casualties were safely rescued.

"The exercise itself went extremely well," he said. "We set certain objectives to put out the fire and perform rescues. It's a difficult job in this complex layout. They achieved all the goals set for them.

"We rescued everyone but there were some critical learning points, which is the whole purpose.

"We had casualties who were role players, one was able to walk out, the other two were unconscious. That is extremely hard.

"The exercise demonstrates to the fire crews the difficulties in performing breathing apparatus search and rescues in complex buildings, such as this."

Some of the main challenges that faced crews were the pitch black, smoke filled conditions, but in a real fire there would also be searing heat.

Mr Kempton added: "If there was a fire situation in here, because of the nature of the building, it would heat up to 1,000 degrees in minutes. It would be like an over."

The fire service also thanked the business owner, Jeff Robbins, for allowing them to use the premises.

Mr Robbins said it came about as they knew one of the fire fighters.

"He just asked if they could use the facility to help the fire brigade," he said. "It's good for everybody to have the training exercise as safely and as close to reality.

"We have made it as realistic as possible, but nothing will be damaged."