Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service (GMFRS) has issued an urgent warning after two fires break out in the city centre within the space of an hour.
Both incidents happened on the balconies of Manchester city centre apartments.
Firefighters were called to the first incident – which happened at a flat in a block on Ludgate Hill, in the Green Quarter area of the city centre – just before 9:30pm on Tuesday night, and was said to be the result of a disposable barbecue having been placed directly onto the wooden flooring of the balcony, causing a fire to start.
GMFRS said that crews managed to quickly extinguish the blaze and gave the flat’s residence fire safety advice.
The second incident happened at 11:02pm, where five fire engines and an aerial ladder platform attended a fire on the balcony of a second floor flat in Manchester – believed to be the Quantum Building, on Chapeltown Street in the Northern Quarter.
The fire service confirmed that firefighters were at the scene for around 30 minutes.
It is suspected that the fire ignited wooden garden furniture on the balcony, and was caused by a “carelessly discarded cigarette”.
“As we are experiencing some nicer weather in Greater Manchester, it is really important that residents of flats are aware of fire safety when they use their balconies.” Paul Duggan – Area Manager and GMFRS Head of Prevention – said.
“We were fortunate that there were no injuries at the incidents we attended yesterday and that we were able to quickly bring them under control and stop any further spread [but] this is a timely reminder that residents of flats should never have BBQs on their balconies and should be particularly careful on their balconies if they smoke.
“We want people to enjoy themselves at home when the weather is nice – but please do so carefully”.
Yesterday’s two incidents come after GMFRS last year responded to a number of fires on balconies during the warm weather, with the most common cause of these fires being BBQs or people throwing cigarettes from buildings, which can even cause fires on someone else’s balcony.
Most-notably, a discarded cigarette caused a fire at the Lighthouse apartment building in the Northern Quarter last year, which spread across a number of balconies and resulted in the full evacuation of the building, and there has been various similar cases of fires reported around the country which also started on balconies and caused significant damage to buildings.
These incidents sometimes resulted in residents needing to move out.
The government has issued advice to building owners about the potential risks posed by wooden balconies, and in most buildings, the use of BBQs on balconies is not permitted and may be a breach of the lease or tenancy agreement.
GMFRS says that residents therefore have a responsibility to co-operate with the fire safety arrangements for the building.
Residents could face action if they put other people in the building at risk.
In order to help keep residents of apartments blocks as safe as possible as we head into the warmer months, GMFRS has issued these safety precautions to reduce the risk of fire on a balcony:
Do not use BBQs under any circumstances.
Never store flammable materials like gas on your balcony.
Reduce clutter and try and keep items on the balcony to a minimum.
If you smoke, make sure you fully stub cigarettes out and NEVER flick them off your balcony.
Antony‘s case is still ongoing, with a total of three women coming out to accuse him of domestic abuse — chiefly, his ex-girlfriend Gabriela Cavallin, who was first to raise concerns surrounding his alleged behaviour — but his cooperation through the investigation has led them to revise their position.
Issuing an update on Friday morning confirming that the forward with be brought back into the fold until the situation is resolved.
A club statement reads as follows: “Since allegations were first made in June, Antony has co-operated with police inquiries in both Brazil and the UK, and he continues to do so.
“As Antony’s employer, Manchester United has decided that he will resume training at Carrington, and be available for selection, while police inquiries proceed. This will be kept under review pending further developments in the case.
“As a club, we condemn acts of violence and abuse. We recognise the importance of safeguarding all those involved in this situation, and acknowledge the impact these allegations have on survivors of abuse.”
Erik ten Hag‘s side plays their second game against Crystal Palace in less than a week after beating them 3-0 in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday and while it is not thought Antony will be brought straight back into the team, he will be available for selection moving forward.
United currently sit ninth in the Premier League with three wins and three losses to their name.
Man jailed after ‘disturbing and terrifying’ burglary at young woman’s Altrincham home
A man has been handed jail time after a “disturbing and terrifying” burglary took place at a young woman’s home in Altrincham.
The court heard this week how Jason Edwards, from Sale in Trafford, turned up to an address in the Lloyd Gardens area of Altrincham where two women in their 20s were staying for the weekend visiting their friend at around 2am on Sunday 12 August 2022.
After knocking on the front door while brandishing a large meat cleaver, the two women opened the door and Edwards proceeded to push past them to force his way into the property.
The 36-year-old then began to search every room, while still carrying the horrific weapon and shouting at the women.
He then left the property shortly after, and the two victims immediately called the police.
The victims’ friend – who lived at the address, and was also a woman in her 20s – was still on a night out when she was alerted to Edwards being at her front door by a doorbell camera notification on her phone.
After pleading guilty to aggravated burglary and possession of a bladed article earlier this week (Tuesday 26 September), Edwards was handed a seven and a half year custodial sentence, as well as a further five years on licence.
Detective Sergeant Jacob Corrigan, of GMPs Trafford CID, described the burglary as a “disturbing and terrifying incident” for the victims.
“The victims had returned home from enjoying a day out with friends, before being put through this ordeal, which understandably made them genuinely fear for their lives,” DS Corrigan said Edwards was sentenced this week.
“I am pleased that Edwards has faced justice for his actions today and will be spending some time in prison, where he will be able to reflect upon his poor choices.”
DS Corrigan also reiterated that GMP “will not tolerate this type of violent crime”.