The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Fire breaks out at university halls

The 17-storey block of flats set on fire but there have been no reported injuries


On Monday the 16th of October, Unite Students Parkway Gate halls was set ablaze after the groundfloor storeroom went up in flames.

Police had initially suspected that the fire may have been started deliberately but following further investigation it is now being treated as an accident.

University of Manchester students began evacuating the halls on Chester Street, Manchester as flames began to engulf the building, with many students terrified and in their pyjamas.

A student who wishes to remain anonymous said there was a strong smell of smoke in the building: “as I got to the bottom of the building there was thick smoke. I got to the front door, the side of the storage area is next to it.

“You had to run out past it and turn left.”

Despite the smoke and visible flames, a resident tweeted that “no fire alarm went off either.”

Fire crews arrived at the scene just after 10.30pm on the Monday evening and checked that no-one was left in the building.

Students quickly evacuated the building and firefighters checked that no-one was left in the building.

A total of twenty five firefighters were at the scene for around three hours and paramedics were on hand as a precaution.

Crews used an aerial platform, hose reels and two jets to bring the fire under control.

Thermal imaging scanners were used to check that there were no signs the fire had spread and paramedics assessed students to check if anybody was suffering from smoke inhalation.

No injuries have been reported.

A spokesman for Unite Students said: “At 10:30pm yesterday fire and rescue services were called to Parkway Gate Manchester to deal with a fire on the ground floor.

“Evacuation was already underway when fire crews arrived and the fire was extinguished swiftly. No one was hurt and the building is open as normal.

“The safety of our students and employees is of the utmost importance and we are currently investigating the cause of the fire with Manchester Fire and Rescue service.”

An investigation into the cause of the blaze is underway and Greater Manchester Police has appealed for witnesses or anyone with any information to contact the force by calling 111.