FIRE crews were called to a small blaze - which was found to have been started by a Womble.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue were called to a property in Harrogate on Sunday evening, after receiving reports of the smell of burning in a loft of a maisonette on Grantley Drive.

Crews from Harrogate and Knaresborough Fire Service arrived at the scene and found Orinoco Womble on fire.

It is believed the toy Womble – who was renowned in the famous children’s television series for his love of food and sleep and was frequently found enjoying “forty winks” – had been sat under a down-lighter in the loft, which set him alight.

Smoke alarms in the property had not activated due to his location, but fire fighters used a dry powder extinguisher on him.

The Wombles was a well-known children’s television series, made originally in the 1970s and which remained popular throughout the 1980s. Characters included Great Uncle Bulgaria, the wisest and sternest Womble and Womble leader, Madame Cholet, Tobermory and Cousin Cairngorm McWomble the Terrible. All the characters were narrated by Bernard Cribbins.

They lived on Wimbledon Common, where they make good use of rubbish left behind by humans and were known for having a poor opinion of human beings, with the exception of the Queen.