Perplexed members of the fire crew initially thought there must be an elderly woman trapped inside the burning building in Middleton, Idaho, on Friday night. But after an extensive search they could find only the two frightened parrots – one of which was doing all the squawking.

“Once the captain did his walk-around he could hear something or someone inside yelling ‘Help, fire, help, fire’,” said Victor Islas, community relations officer for Middleton Fire Department, according to NBC News.

The crew immediately went into ‘rescue mode’ and called for back-up. After failing to find anyone they started using thermal imagery technology – which detected no people but instead located a talkative female parrot sitting on a table.

The fire was restricted to only one room in the house, and the loquacious parrot was duly plucked to safety along with a quieter male companion. Neither bird was injured, but the exhausted female was given oxygen via an adult oxygen mask. According to Mr Islas she immediately perked up and began to imitate the sounds of the sirens.