The firefighters were undertaking location training near Palmerston Road yesterday afternoon when an eagle-eyed resident caught their attention.
Several residents had become ‘very distressed’ over the plight of a pigeon that had become stuck in netting along the outside of the former John Lewis building, according to firefighter Max Hewett.
With the help of an onboard aerial ladder platform, the firefighter was able to reach the imprisoned pigeon – which was in ‘quite a flap’.
He said: ‘We were just driving by and a few distressed members of the public flagged us down.
‘We have no idea how it got stuck up there.
‘It was quite tangled and it was flapping around, making it worse.’
After ten minutes of untangling the bird, firefighter Hewett was able to take the distressed animal under his wing.
Max said: ‘I managed to free it, and its legs were fine and its wings were alright. We released it under a nearby tree.’
He added: ‘Not often we deal with something like that – it was the first time it happened to me.’
The firefighter said crews were always happy to help members of the public while between call-outs, and they will always prioritise more serious incidents as they arise.
The Knight and Lee building had housed a John Lewis store for 85 years until it closed last July, with developers That Group set to turn it into a 43-bed hotel, cinema, coffee bar, shops and offices.