Flames climbed up the cladding of a student accommodation block in Bolton last night in a blaze that reminded too many people of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire.
The fire quickly spread up and across The Cube student block close to Bolton's city centre and a huge evacuation took place at around 8:30pm.
This morning, Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham says 'not everyone' is accounted for and is urging residents of the building to let their families know they are safe.
At its height, roughly 200 firefighters from 40 different fire engines were tackling the blaze which was quickly affecting every floor of the building.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) said two people were treated by paramedics at the scene but nobody was seriously injured.
Firefighters remain at the apartment block on Bradshawgate (close to the town centre) this morning after fighting "the last few pockets" of fire at around 5:30am.
Last night, @manchesterfire implemented one of their own learnings from Grenfell by sending a 2nd command team to deal explicitly with the evacuation. Most people have been accounted for but not everyone & investigations are ongoing. https://t.co/v1Zbmzkf9j— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) November 16, 2019
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. #boltonfire pic.twitter.com/oJ6MWUXMf8— Direalkileber (@Direalkileber) November 16, 2019
GMFRS has asked residents of The Cube to register at Orlando Village Student Accommodation and contact family members to let them know they are safe.
The University of Bolton as also said it is supporting evacuated students and is providing temporary accommodation at the Orlando student halls and in some hotels.
While twitter is awash with support and praise for the brave firefighters who tackled the blaze and evacuated hundreds of students, some people are up in arms and it's not easy to avoid cries of Grenfell.
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.
Flames climbing up cladding in a massive fire overnight in a Bolton student block. 200 or so people evacuated. How was this allowed to happen after Grenfell? This government is a disgrace. #boltonfire pic.twitter.com/HB4BsbIgDe— Hannah Jane Parkinson (@ladyhaja) November 16, 2019
How is this not headline news??? Over 200 students homeless with absolutely nothing. Personally, all I have is the pajamas I was in as I ran out my flat and my phone that was in my hand as I smelt smoke. This is mental I have no idea what to do now... #boltonfire pic.twitter.com/8TkB4ZQktt— Meg (@Megdori) November 16, 2019
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Tony Hunter, said: “Our crews have done a fantastic job bringing this fire under control, in what have been very challenging circumstances. I want to praise their swift action, which has prevented the fire from spreading to adjacent buildings.
“Our priority now, is ensuring that all residents of The Cube register at Orlando Village on Thynne Street, Bolton so we know they are safe and well.”
Despite the two injuries, emergency services have not confirmed any casualties from the blaze.
Greater Manchester Police Bolton North say a number of road closures are in place and Secretary of State for Housing has tweeted to say officials are ready to offer assistance if required.
We want to personally praise the response from all fire services involved. But how many more cladding fires like this one will they have to put their lives on the line for?