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Dog and rabbit pipe drama for Bagpuss’ Emily Firmin as emergency crews free her cheeky pooch - watched by children’s TV creative legend Peter Firmin

PUBLISHED: 15:18 11 April 2017

Emily Firmin and her father Peter

Emily Firmin and her father Peter

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Fire crews help save her pup after it got stuck in a drain-pipe

Emily Firmin and Bagpuss in the TV show. Pic: BBC/SmallFilmsEmily Firmin and Bagpuss in the TV show. Pic: BBC/SmallFilms

Emily Firmin - famed for her role in children’s classic Bagpuss - had to call in fire crews to rescue her pet dog after it bolted up a drain-pipe while chasing a rabbit.

Rescue teams then had to cut the pipe to free both creatures safe and sound who had got stuck.

Ms Firmin, who lives in Whitstable, was famously the little girl who owned Bagpuss and is pictured stroking the famous cat in the much-repeated show, first broadcast in the 1970s.

It was created by her father, Peter Firmin, who lives in Blean, and the late Oliver Postgate - who lived nearby.

Quite what Bagpuss would have made of the commotion in Blean is anyone’s guess.

The drama took place around 8pm last Wednesday, April 5.

Two-year-old Domino, a chihuahua-Jack Russell cross, had spotted the rabbit and both then got stuck in the pipe.

Explained Ms Firmin: “The crew were amazing, I can’t thank them enough. We didn’t think we’d get her out of the pipe, but what they did was extensive and they were even able to pull the rabbit out too – you could call them magician firefighters.”

After efforts to hoax the animals out failed, crews used a saw to create a big enough gap in the plastic pipe to see if they could reach Domino.

Canterbury crew manager, Lee Divers said: “When we arrived we had to try and gain access to the pipe at different places to be able to find Domino, so we created several trenches and cut away at the pipe, which was full of mud and silt. Once we’d created the holes, it helped give the rabbit the direction to escape and Domino followed.”

Domino and the rabbit travelled about 50 metres along the pipe. Eventually both emerged where the pipe flowed into a pond.

Both were a little subdued by the whole experience.

Mr Divers added: “We saw a pair of eyes appear and thought it was Domino – then out hopped the rabbit. But Domino wasn’t far behind.”

Adds Ms Firmin: “I’ve got nothing but praise and thanks for the crews – they were absolutely brilliant. I’m now going to be extra careful with Domino – I know how quick she is at chasing rabbits, I’ll be keeping her on the lead from now on.”

Peter Firmin, who watched the drama, added: “We realise the fire service don’t normally do animal rescues like this, so we’re entirely grateful and we’ve made a donation to the Fire Fighters Charity as our way of saying thank you.”

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