THREE people have been rescued from a building fire in Ellesmere Port town centre.

Firefighters were called to the residential property on Whitby Road, near to the Westminster Bridge, this afternoon.

The occupants were trapped inside and crews used a ladder to rescue them.

A fourth person was also treated at the scene by paramedics.

Police vehicles had blocked the busy road off to allow firefighters to tackle the blaze.

A cordon is now in place and motorists are urged to avoid the area.

Chester and District Standard:

(Photo: Cheshire Police)

Ellesmere Port Police tweeted: "Whitby Road is currently closed in Ellesmere Port Town Centre from Westminster Bridge up to the William Jessop public house due to a fire. Please use an alternative route while emergency services are at the scene."

A Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service statement said: "At 1.19pm firefighters were called to reports of a fire in a residential property on Whitby Road, Ellesmere Port.

"Three fire engines from Ellesmere Port and Powey Lane attended the scene and on arrival they found a well established fire in a three storey terraced property, with a number of people trapped inside. 

"The crews used a 13.5 metre ladder to access the third floor and three people were rescued by firefighters and passed to the care of paramedics.

"A fourth casualty has also been treated by paramedics at the scene.

"Two further fire engines from Winsford and Lymm, along with an aerial appliance from Lymm, were also called to the scene. 

"The crews then set up an number of covering jets to tackle the fire from outside. Firefighters are also using breathing apparatus and hose reel jets to fight the fire from inside the building. 

"All occupants of the building are believed to have been accounted for.

"A full road closure is currently in place Whitby Road while emergency services deal with the incident and motorists are advised to avoid the area."

A North West Ambulance Service spokesperson confirmed they were called to the incident at 1.23pm, adding: "We sent a number of resources to scene and conveyed to hospital."