The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Sunday, 17 November 2019 19:13cat

Massive blaze in Bolton's student building: 2 injured

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Massive blaze in Bolton's student building Massive blaze in Bolton's student building Channel4

A massive fire engulfed a building that accommodated students in Bolton, United Kingdom, resulting in 2 injuries.

The fire initiated at the 6th (top) floor of the building and rapidly spread along its 5th and 4th floor causing intense damage. The incident occurred on the evening of November 15, 2019.

The majority of the students quickly evacuated the building. Fire crews, including 200 firefighters and 40 fire engines, rushed at the scene to tackle the blaze that was getting more intense.  2 people were treated at the scene by paramedics, one of them rescued by firefighters that utilized an aerial platform.

Students complained that the fire alarms were constantly being activated mostly for drilling operations, a fact that leads to confusion between practice and real danger. "I heard the alarm go off, however, it goes off pretty much every day and everyone kind of got used to it. I assumed it would stop soon and it didn’t. My flatmate was the one who actually started to bang on my door and told me this fire was real,” Lauren Cobb, a student of Bolton's University stated. Moreover, reports suggest that the alarm is not loud enough to be noticed in every apartment of the building.

On the next day, fire department officials reported that the fire was successfully extinguished after an overnight operation. Dave Keelan, Assistant Chief Fire Officer from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, emphasized the importance of fire's department quick intervention that led to an evacuation without casualties. 

Students were accommodated in nearby hotels where all the emergency requirements were provided. Professor George E. Holmes, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Bolton, stated that the welfare of the students is the University's first priority.

The causes of the fire have not been clarified yet and an investigation is currently being conducted. There is a possibility that the building's cladding may have played an important role during the incident. However, chief Keelan explained that it is not the same flammable material that caused the Grenfell Tower fire back in 2017. "One thing I would like to just confirm, and allay any fears, is this cladding on this building was not the same cladding that was on Grenfell," Keelan stated.

A collective fund has raised more than 12.900$ to re-house the affected students.

Click on the video below to watch the moment when the fire engulfs the building.

Sources: TheGuardian RTE CNN







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Blaze engulfs student accommodation building in Bolton TheGuardian

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