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Bolton student accommodation fire
courtesy of Twitter/@Direalkileber

A fire in Bolton student halls is being compared to Grenfell

Two people were treated by paramedics last night, while 200 firefighters fought the blaze

A block of university accommodation in Bolton went up in flames, prompting a full evacuation, at around 8.30pm last night (November 15). Approximately 200 firefighters and 40 fire engines responded, with the fire spreading across all floors.

Luckily, there were no fatalities, though Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service say two people were treated by paramedics at the scene.

The way the cladding on the outside of the building burned has been compared to the Grenfell fire (last year, a Guardian report showed that many student buildings are clad in similar materials to the block of flats where 72 people died).

Sharing a video of the Bolton blaze to Twitter, Tottenham MP David Lammy writes: “If reports that cladding contributed to the blaze are true, it is a shameful indictment of inaction after Grenfell.” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn echoes the statement.

To add to this, one resident told the BBC that fire alarms go off “almost every day” in the accommodation – The Cube, which is managed by a private landlord – resulting in confusion about whether the fire was real when it first broke out. 

Another student backs up this statement, saying: “I heard the fire alarm going off but it kept on going off so I just thought it was a drill at first until one of my flatmates shouted down the corridor that it was a real fire.”

For now, students have been provided with support and a place to sleep, as well as food and toiletries, according to university officials.