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.
Very disturbing images #boltonfire. Heroic firefighters and paramedics should be praised. Those left homeless must be rehoused immediately.— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) November 16, 2019
If reports that cladding contributed to the blaze are true, it is a shameful indictment of inaction after Grenfell.pic.twitter.com/ZCVxE1G9B6
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.
This building is literally my home, & ive lost everything. im not trying to get sympathy by tweeting about this again but why isnt it getting the attention it deserved? It's serious. The thought that i wouldve been dead if the smell hadnt woken me up, is traumatising. #boltonfirepic.twitter.com/oJ6MWUXMf8— Direalkileber (@Direalkileber) November 16, 2019
Thank you to the 40 fire crews who tackled the #BoltonFire and the emergency services who treated people at the student accommodation.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 16, 2019
If reports are correct and flammable cladding contributed to the fire, it shows the government's shameful inaction since Grenfell.