SMOKE poured from a top-floor flat as dozens of firefighters battled a mattress fire.

At just after 3am today (Thursday) emergency services were called to Joseph Groom Towers in Ellesmere Port after reports of a fire.

Thick smoke poured from a top floor flat as 20 firefighters battled to enter the building to rescue residents who were thought to be trapped inside.

Two fire engines from Ellesmere Port and two from Chester were joined by a hydraulic platform at the scene of the blaze.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus raced up flights of stairs to the floor below the fire, where they waded through waist-deep smoke and used a dry riser to pump water from the ground onto the flames above.

The watch manager at Chester Fire Station, Firefighter Richard Gerrard, said despite firefighters believing people were in the flat, no one was home.

“Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus searched the flat, luckily the flat was empty,” said Firefighter Gerrard, who said no-one was hurt in the fire, but water damaged was caused to the flat below from the hoses.

“The fire originated from a mattress which had set on fire, an investigation has started into the cause.”