Fireman raced to the home of a young woman who called up in tears because her pet mouse had got its head stuck between the bars of its cage.

Elfrida Schuster, 21, from Hamburg in Germany called the emergency fire brigade number in a panic to explain that her mouse was suffocating after getting its head wedged in the bars.

The fire brigade responded by sending out a special emergency team.

A spokesperson for the Hamburg fire fighters defended the action saying: "Saving both human and animal life is our duty."