Students escape fire in high rise accommodation block

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By Alex Butler

Image: Unite Students

Last Monday night, Manchester Fire and Rescue services were called to Unite Students Parkway Gate, a private student accommodation block in the city centre, to attend to a fire which had broken out in a store room on the ground floor. The fire, which broke out in the late hours of the evening, was attended to quickly by rescue services, with no-one injured. It is believed the blaze was started accidentally. The building’s owners, Unite Students, cater for students across the country and have several buildings in Manchester.

In the aftermath of the incident, student residents of the building claimed that some of the high rise block’s alarms did not seem to be functioning, leaving students seemingly vulnerable. Some students have taken to twitter to declare their anger with Unite Students:

Some have even claimed that other students had refused to believe there was a fire and failed to evacuate the building, one even claiming that a flatmate had slept through the whole ordeal.

A spokesperson from Unite Students has confirmed that the claims about inactive fire alarms were being investigated and that student safety was paramount: “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.” The fire alarms, which are connected to an internal Alarm receiving centre, is manned constantly and Unite students “routinely work closely with experts from local fire services to make sure these are effective.”

Unite Students recently closed their Sky Plaza property in Leeds over concerns of exterior cladding after the Grenfell Tower disaster. The Grenfell fire, which claimed an estimated 80 lives and injured 70 others in June, instigated a growing concern over fire safety in modern and refurbished high rise buildings.

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