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UK News Bolton fire: Warnings were issued over laminate used in student housing block

04:40  18 november  2019
04:40  18 november  2019 Source:   inews.co.uk

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The Government was warned that the type of cladding on a student housing block in Bolton posed a fire risk, months before the blaze. Two people were injured in the massive blaze at the accommodation building in Bolton , Greater Manchester on Friday. Investigations into the fire are ongoing.

A fire at a student accommodation block in Bolton has brought into sharp focus a series of major fire safety concerns that are still unresolved more than two years after the Grenfell disaster. The Cube building, which housed more than 200 students at the University of Bolton

a building with smoke coming out of it © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

The Government was warned that the type of cladding on a student housing block in Bolton posed a fire risk, months before the blaze.

Two people were injured in the massive blaze at the accommodation building in Bolton, Greater Manchester on Friday.

Investigations into the fire are ongoing. However, the building is believed to have been covered in a form of high-pressure laminate (HPL) material.

  Bolton fire: Warnings were issued over laminate used in student housing block © Getty

In July, an advisory note from the Government’s expert panel on fire safety concluded that some forms of HPL panels were "very unlikely to adequately resist the spread of fire", The Independent reported.

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A fire that swept through a student housing block in Bolton has raised fresh concerns over flammable cladding on residential buildings, more than two years after the Grenfell Tower blaze cost 72 lives. Witness reports suggested the blaze at the Cube building on Friday travelled rapidly over the

University of Bolton students were evacuated from the accommodation when the fire broke out at about 20:30 GMT. She added: "We want to see immediate action from government to audit all cladding that could be causing fire -safety issues and remove it immediately if it is likely to exacerbate

It urged building owners to "immediately take action" and carry out work "to remediate unsafe HPL [panels]... as soon as possible.”

However, the note added that removal of HPL panels was not a top priority as the panels were "not as high a risk" as the aluminium composite material (ACM) panels that were used in Grenfell Tower.

a group of people performing on stage in front of a building © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Extra precautions

In the wake of the Bolton fire, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service has urged all residents of high-rise properties to take safety precautions.

A spokesperson said: “Understandably people in high-rise buildings will be worried about the safety so we have advice on our website for Greater Manchester residents living in high-rise buildings.

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"Our advice is to find out the evacuation strategy for their building, which should be clearly displayed in the building – if it isn’t then you should contact your landlord or managing agent.”

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Complete failure

The Fire Brigades Union has called for a complete overhaul of UK fire safety.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “My congratulations go to the crews on the ground who did amazing work in incredibly difficult circumstances. This terrible fire highlights the complete failure of the UK’s fire safety system.

"It’s deeply troubling to see fire spread rapidly up a building’s exterior again - a shocking indictment of the Government’s shameful inaction after Grenfell. This is not how any building should react to a fire in the 21st century, let alone a building in which people live.

"We need to end the deregulation agenda and the disastrous cuts to our fire and rescue service. It's time for a complete overhaul of UK fire safety before it’s too late.”

Student flats operator ‘committed to help’ inquiry after Bolton blaze

  Student flats operator ‘committed to help’ inquiry after Bolton blaze Witnesses said what appeared to be a small fire ripped across and upwards within minutes.The Cube building in Bolton, which houses more than 200 students at the University of Bolton, did not have the same type of cladding that combusted in the Grenfell Tower fire of 2017 and is fitted with high-pressure laminate (HPL) coloured panels.

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Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham told the Manchester Evening News on Saturday: "I'm sure there will be many people living in buildings with cladding today who will be very worried about what they saw last night and will be wondering about their safety and the safety of their children.

"We know that the Prime Minister is visiting today and we will be looking to him to understand the implications of what happened last night and to see if we now need to go further to remove cladding that's on other buildings and give those families piece of mind that they probably don't currently have."

Four houses and several cars damaged after estate fire in Ratoath, Co Meath .
The terrifying incident happened when a van went up in flames at around 4am in Meadowbank Hill housing estate in Ratoath.The blaze quickly spread to nearby homes and other cars, before being extinguished by local fire services.The area was evacuated and thankfully, there are no reports of any injuries. Gardai are awaiting the results of a technical examination to determine the cause of the fire, which is understood could have been deliberate. One of the houses suffered extensive damage.

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