A lollipop man in England has been sacked for stopping a fire engine on its way to a 999 call.

Firefighters were forced to physically remove the man as he continued to help children cross outside William Austin Junior School in Luton last month.

Luton Borough Council said the school crossing patrol officer had been dismissed for gross misconduct.

It had initially suspended the man pending an investigation.

The fire engine was on its way to a fire on St Ethelbert Avenue, at around 3.30pm on 13 April.

Witness Jacqui Brittain told the BBC that the man was helping a group of children cross the road when the fire engine approached with its lights on.

Ms Brittain, a former lollipop woman, said that he then came into the middle of the road and started a second crossing.

"Four or five firemen got out of the vehicle and escorted him off the road," she said. "It was like watching a car crash. I am sorry he lost his job. It is a shame, but based on the incident that day it was justified."

A council spokeswoman said: "Luton Borough Council has now concluded its inquiries into reports that a school crossing patrol officer held up a fire engine on an emergency call on April 13.

"After following our due process, the employee concerned has been summarily dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct."