A WEST Dorset pub filled with smoke last night with four fire crews on scene - but luckily it was just a fire service training.

It was a joint border exercise between Dorset and Wiltshire and Devon and Somerset fire and rescue services to see how the different crews worked and the different equipment they used.

Crews came from Axminster, Seaton Lyme Regis and Charmouth to practice an emergency situation at the Rock Point Inn in Lyme Regis, which was filled with smoke.

There were nine casualties hidden in the building - two people and seven dummies - which the firefighters had to find.

Lyme Regis fire chief Virgil Turner said: “They were all found in good time and we didn’t think they would finish the exercise as they were all hidden in very awkward places.

“It is good to get together and see the different equipment. We were able to use Axminster’s positive ventilator to clear away the smoke, which we will be getting next year.

“There are slight differences between the crews, but the main aspects of safety are the same, they just took different steps to us.

“It is nice to see what they use, and it was a good learning experience between to two of us as both being close to the border, we work together a lot.”

Paramedics from the South Western Ambulance Service (SWAST) also joined in the exercise.

Jason Rogers, Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service district commander for the west, said: "The purpose of our exercise was to test our skills, share knowledge of the different types of equipment we use, practice our techniques and reinforce our strong multi-agency working relationship to ensure when called upon by our community we provided the highest level of service.

"With the support and thanks to St Austell Brewery, we were allowed to use the Rock Point Inn to simulate a large property fire with people trapped inside. Using training dummies, volunteer casualties and synthetic smoke we were able to create a challenging scenario.

"Casualties were hidden in all areas of the three storey building and the basement area.

"As firefighters carried out their searches wearing breathing apparatus, casualties were quickly found and carried to safety where our friends from SWAST practiced their life saving techniques.

"Overall our exercise was extremely successful and also warmly supported by our Lyme Regis community and visitors enjoying the local views and facilities."