Fires claimed three lives and led to dozens of casualties in Cornwall over the last year, figures reveal.

The Fire Brigades Union said that an increase in deaths from fires across the country showed that services are "wholly insufficient".

The latest Home Office statistics show three people died at home in incidents attended by the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, in the year to June.

Across England, 268 fatalities were recorded over the period, up from 253 the previous year.

The FBU has called for greater funding in fire and rescue services to tackle the "shocking" rise.

Matt Wrack, the union's general secretary, said: "Firefighter numbers have been slashed over the last decade, while the country’s fire safety infrastructure has been dismantled.

"Our entire system of fire safety is wholly insufficient and for far too long politicians have treated fire safety issues with utter indifference.

"We need to completely rebuild our fire and rescue service – and the Fire Brigades Union is demanding this starts immediately."

There were also 43 fire-related casualties recorded in Cornwall over the period, most commonly occurring in homes.

Of these, four were severe, while a further 18 required hospital treatment for minor injuries.

The figures also show the work done by the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service in preventing fires.

In 2018-19, they carried out 6,295 home fire safety checks, most commonly for elderly and disabled residents.

Nationwide, the number of fire and rescue incidents was down 20 per cent compared with a decade before, and there were 27% fewer fires.

But incidents have increased recently, an uptick the Home Office attributes to last year's hot summer.

It says warm, dry temperatures drove an increase in secondary fires, which are usually outdoors and less serious than those in buildings.

Fire and rescue services in England will receive around £2.3 billion for the current financial year, a spokesman added.