THREE housemates have praised the actions of a man who drove more than 30 miles to the aid of a kitten trapped on the roof of a house.

Teesside University students Becca Harvison, Jayne McGaughey and Ciara Murphy, praised Chester-le-Street man Mark Oliver after he staged the rescue in the early hours of Monday morning.

At around 11.30pm on Sunday, the students and housemates were left shocked after discovering their neighbour's kitten on the roof of a house on Jedburgh Street in Middlesbrough.

Ms Harvison told The Northern Echo: "People were gathering outside, we thought it was a bit weird - we asked our friend, who was on her way back, to have a look.

"We went to the door and realised it was the neighbour's cat - there was a man with ladders and another guy who had walked from Albert Park with a set of ladders who tried to help, but couldn't reach the kitten.

"It was really distressing hearing the kitten's noises."

The Occupational Therapy student from Chester-le-Street said the housemates telephoned the fire service, police and the RSPCA, but none were available for rescue.

The Northern Echo:

In a desperate bid to find someone with appropriate rescue equipment, Ms Harvison took to social media to ask for help.

She said: "The comments were overwhelming - people were saying they'd come to help in morning, but I just thought it was really important to save the kitten sooner because of the bad weather.

"I was googling 'how long can a cat survive without food and water'."

Shortly after her plea for help was posted online, a friend who's father owns a cherry-picker in her home town of Chester-le-Street got in touch.

She said: "Callum's dad Mark got in touch with me offering to help, I didn't expect it - that someone was willing to come from somewhere an hour away."

At around 1am on Monday morning and after driving more than 35 miles to the Teesside street, Mr Oliver sprang the industrial equipment into action.

The Northern Echo:

He said: "My son phoned me up, I was in bed at the time and he said 'can you help', I had a look at where it was and thought 'come on let's do it and me and my partner went down to help."

Mr Oliver along with his partner Gemma Allen, who run a firm carrying out emergency property repairs, ascended the two-storey house and carefully retrieved the kitten from the roof.

He said: "It was about a 70 mile return trip, it only took about 15 minutes to complete."

Mr Oliver, who did not ask any payment from the concerned students, said it had not been the first time something like this has happened.

He said: "We did a rescue in Darras Hall in Northumberland and rescued a kitten.

"These things happen more often than you realise. The response so far has been ridiculous, the amount of thanks I have had from people all over the country has been unreal."

The Northern Echo:

Ms Harvison said she was extremely pleased that the kitten was rescued and thanked the hundreds of people who commented on her social media post.