Salford Mayor Paul Dennett has identified an “industrial crisis” after visiting the site of a fire which tore through a Bolton student accommodation block.

A huge fire engulfed student accommodation in Bolton last week leaving 211 students stranded.

Forty fire engines and 200 firefighters tackled the blaze that broke out at 8.30pm on Friday November 15.

The incident has raised concerns over the reliability of fire alarms as students reported experiencing several ‘false alarms’ in the lead up to the fire.

Members of the public were outraged after video footage from the blaze appears to show cladding from the building on fire.

Two years after the devastating Grenfell tower fire in London, the public are applying pressuring on the government to do more to tackle the issue of cladding in high-rise tower blocks.

Elise Millward, a second year special effects makeup student at the University of Bolton, lived at The Cube student accommodation in Bolton town centre. She said:

“We have alarms in our corridor and alarms in our rooms. The only one that went off was our corridor. We have had so many false alarms at times going off multiple times a day so most of my flat thought nothing of it.

“My room however is right next to the fire stairs so I could hear screams. I decided to wander to the kitchen and check it out, all I saw was everyone running and smoke that appeared to come from next door.

“I just started screaming at my flatmates and banging on their doors. One of my friends was in the shower and the other was asleep they hadn’t even heard the alarm in the corridor.”

“We just ran out and could see smoke, when we got to the courtyard it appeared to be coming from flat 42. I can’t describe it, we all left everything. We all thought it would be sorted as fire engines were on the scene as we left the building.

“We just have the clothes we are in as we thought we would be going back.”

Salford Mayor Paul Dennett, who visiting the site, said: “Everyone’s done a sterling job. Obviously what we’re gonna have to do now is fully investigate this fire and see if there’s any learning that we can feed into the high rise task force that I chair in Greater Manchester.”

“It spread so quickly. We were all stood about watching everything we have burn. We have all lost so much”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has visited Bolton, speaking to fire crews who helped tackle the blaze.

For updates from Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue service follow @manchesterfire on Twitter.

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