A spate of fires pushed Cumbrian firefighters to their limits, as they battled to deal with simultaneous incidents.

Bonfire night and the surrounding weekend is always the busiest of the year for the county’s crews, and last night saw firefighters desperately trying to ensure they could respond to all emergencies.

The first 999 call came at about 6pm, to reports of a bonfire which was out of control on Gelt Road, in Brampton. The flames had spread to a nearby storage building.

A pump failure on the Brampton appliance, meant crews were sent from both Carlisle east and Carlisle west fire stations, with firefighters spending 90 minutes battling the blaze.

A spokesman for Carlisle west station said they managed to prevent the building being destroyed, using a main jet and a hose reel jet to bring it under control.

While the two Carlisle engines were dealing with the Brampton fire, an appliance from Lazonby was sent to provide cover for the city.

However, the News & Star understands that it had not arrived when there were reports of a building fire on St Nicholas Bridges in Carlisle.

Crews from Wigton and Longtown were in turn called to deal with that incident, which fortunately turned out to be a small rubbish fire, which required them to use two water backpacks to extinguish.

To complete the chaos for fire crews, a third 999 call came in at the same time, this time to a fire in Longtown.

This too was an out-of-control fire, and required another crew to be brought in to deal with that incident.

A spokesman for the fire service said: “All of these incidents used up valuable resources and we would remind people to take all precautions when hosting their own bonfire, to ensure they are well away from buildings.”

Engineers were dispatched immediately to fix the Brampton appliance, and a spokesman reassured the public that it was fully operational by 10pm.

"We worked hard to ensure that there was emergency cover for all of the county during this time," he added.

Last night was expected to be even busier.