Residents of a student accommodation building in Bolton that caught on fire have said they were confused when alarms activated because they “go off daily”.
Two people were injured when the six-storey building known as The Cube caught alight at around 8.30pm on Friday.
More than 200 firefighters tackled the blaze that was eventually brought under control on Saturday morning after nine hours.
A resident, who was evacuated along with 200 other students, said many of them were confused because the fire alarms activate "almost every day", the BBC reported.
University of Bolton student Shannon Parker, 22, who lives in the building on Bradshawgate, said: “I was in my room whilst it was happening.
“I heard the fire alarm going off but it kept on going off so I just thought it was a drill at first until one of my flatmates shouted down the corridor that it was a real fire.
“So I ran out the flat as quickly as I could and I saw that it was one of the flats below mine and we went out by the fire exit.”
Images and videos posted on social media showed firefighters tackling the blaze on the top floors of the accommodation.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) confirmed paramedics had treated two people at the scene, including one person rescued by crews via an aerial platform.
A spokesman said more than 40 fire engines were still at the scene on Saturday morning tackling “the last few fighting pockets of fire”.
Another eyewitness Ace Love, 35, described the fire as “crawl[ing] up the cladding like it was nothing”.
She added: “We could see it bubbling from the outside and then being engulfed from the outside.
“A lot of students got out very fast, someone was very distressed, the rest were on phones calling for help.
“The fire got worse and worse, to the point where you could see through the beams, it was just bare frame.”
Authorities have asked anyone who was living at or visiting The Cube to register at the nearby Orlando Village student accommodation facility.
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Professor George E Holmes DL, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Bolton, said: “We have also arranged to provide necessities such as toiletries for all students affected and are opening the University over the weekend so students can be supported. We will also provide food for them.
“I would like to stress that The Cube is not owned by the University of Bolton. It is owned and managed by a private landlord and the students were not on our premises when during this incident.”
Incumbent Labour candidate for Bolton South East, Yasmin Qureshi, warned people on Twitter to stay away from the area and said she would be in contact with the emergency services.
Road closures remain in place around the area.
An investigation is underway into the cause of a blaze at a student accommodation block.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service would not be drawn on how the fire started but confirmed the building did not have the same type of cladding that combusted in the Grenfell Tower fire of 2017.
Yahoo.co.uk has contacted The Cube’s private landlord Urban Student Life for a comment.