Over 40 fire crews tackled a large fire at a student accommodation building in Bolton on Friday night and Saturday morning.
The fire is thought to have affected every floor of the six-story building, known as the Cube, reportedly crawling up cladding on the side of the building.
Two people were treated at the scene of the incident, including one person who had to be rescued by fire crews using an aerial platform. Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service said they were alerted to the fire at 20.29 on November 15, and over 40 crews were involved in tackling the fire.
Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service is asking residents and visitors of the Cube building that have not already done so to register at the Orlando Village Student Accommodation and to communicate with their loved ones. The building is owned by a private landlord, but the University of Bolton has been supporting those affected. The university’s vice-chancellor Professor George E Holmes said;
“I can’t say enough about how pleased we were with the response – it’s been amazing from all emergency services”
It is thought that some students suffered from minor injuries. The Assistant Chief Fire Officer for Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service said that the fire “really did spread very quickly and that was evident to see on the footage that’s on social media.”
Questions are now being raised over the cause of the fire and how it spread so quickly. Multiple reports have suggested that the fire crawled up the cladding on the side of the building. The fire service has confirmed the cladding on the building was different from the cladding on the Grenfell Tower building, where 72 people died during a fire in 2017.
Jeremy Corbyn, the Leader of the Labour Party has tweeted;
Thank you to the 40 fire crews who tackled the #BoltonFire and the emergency services who treated people at the student accommodation.
If reports are correct and flammable cladding contributed to the fire, it shows the government’s shameful inaction since Grenfell.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted;
My thoughts are with all those affected by the serious fire in Bolton last night.
Thank you to emergency services for your brave response.
I have spoken with AFC Tony Hunter who is in charge at the scene, and we are doing everything to ensure they have all the required support.
An article in The Bolton News states that the Cube building was inspected following the Grenfell fire, was deemed to have different cladding to Grenfell Tower and was complying with all current legislation at the time
A row has also erupted over the fire alarms at the Cube building. Some reports and posts on social media have suggested that the fire alarms were not working in some parts of the building, while others have said that the fire alarms in the building go off on nearly a daily basis, so they thought it was a drill.
Crews remain at the scene of the major fire.
Information for those affected by the fire can be found on the Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service website.