A fire brigade has refused to help save a group of people trapped in a house in northern India because they do not have an appropriate firefighting gear, the Times of Indian reported.

In the city of Agra, the group of 10, including three children, are believed to have been trapped inside a house due to heavy rains.

The fire brigade arrived to help and was told the building was not properly fireproof and that they had to take the situation to the city magistrate, the paper said.

The magistrate has ordered the fire brigade to provide the necessary assistance.

But the fire fighters refused to do so, saying they do have the equipment to fight fires in their state, the newspaper said.

The paper said that in the past few months, there have been more than 60 such incidents, mostly in rural areas.

The incident was the second fire that the fire department has had to intervene to quell in Agra.