London firefighters tore down the wall of a home to rescue five newborn kittens trapped within it, Britain's Royal SPCA said on Friday.

The kittens were found in a cavity of a wall in a home under renovation in the Wembley Park section of Brent, a London borough, presumably abandoned by their mother when she could not reach them. The meowing prompted the homeowners to call the London Fire Brigade, which extricated the kittens with the help of the RSPCA.

'Luckily the homeowners were lovely and very understanding. What looked like a straightforward rescue actually became very complicated and we had to take a lot of the wall out to reach them," said Jill Sanders of the RSPCA. "After just over three hours of work, five very small and very cold kittens were found and I warmed them up with a hot water bottle. They were so young and absolutely freezing, if they had been left another day they would not have been able to survive."

The kittens were taken to an animal hospital in nearby Putney for recovery. In an online poll, they were given the names MacAvity, Rumtum, Wally, Grizabella and Jemima.

"The homeowner did exactly the right thing in calling the RSPCA in the first instance and we would always urge people to do the same if they see an animal stuck or in distress," a London Fire Brigade spokesperson said. "Firefighters love animals too and we are always happy to assist if the RSPCA require our assistance and specialist equipment, as in this case. "It's great to hear the kittens are doing well and will be off to new homes as soon as they are ready."

In March, animal rescuers were called to a London commuter train station to rescue a cat and kittens living near the installation of a new escalator. A person contacted the RSPCA to report that a cat was living with her four kittens under an escalator at the under-construction Moorgate Tube Station. Animal welfare officer Siobhan Trinnaman said the felines were living "where the mechanism is to run the escalator."