Manchester fire: Residents 'woken up by people banging pots and pans' as blaze breaks out in apartment block

Dozens of inhabitants forced to vacate premises 

Maya Oppenheim
Sunday 24 May 2020 15:45 BST
Fire rages at Manchester tower block

A fire erupted in a tower block in the Northern Quarter in the centre of Manchester on Sunday morning.

Roads were closed after 60 inhabitants who were made to vacate the premises and fire services sought to control the inferno.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue have said the blaze has now been extinguished. ​

Those who were made to leave the tower block are now being allowed to slowly return home.

Manchester Evening News says there have been reports of the building’s inhabitants being “woken up with pots and pans” after the fire broke out and “screaming”.

“Just off Tesco Church Street, Manchester this morning,” said a Twitter user. “Woke up to screams from the street, another building with cladding on fire. If it wasn’t for people awaking residents using pots and pans below, who knows how long the fire may have gone on for before they realised?”

Another bystander added: Seen en route to work looked pretty scary. One of the residents out in her Pjs. I asked if she was ok. She was just grateful your guys were on the scene pretty rapid. Well done to the other residents as well for trying to alert as many people as possible hope everyone’s ok.”

The fire is thought to have begun on a balcony around half way up the building before advancing.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service tweeted: “Firefighters are currently tackling a fire which started on a balcony of a high-rise building on Church Street in Manchester city centre.

“Roughly 60 residents have been evacuated to the vicinity of the nearby Manchester Arndale shopping centre. Crews from five Greater Manchester stations are working hard using six breathing apparatus and three jets – the flames have spread into the building.

“Working hard, firefighters have gained entry to all affected flats and are making progress in fighting the fire.”

The service asked people in the area to make sure their windows and doors are shut to stop smoke going inside properties.

“We worked fast and hard to limit the spread of fire inside the high-rise, applying techniques and lessons learned from other recent multi-storey building fires,” Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service later added. “We would like to thank the residents affected for their cooperation and support this morning.”

A tweet from GMP Manchester City Centre said: “There are road closures in place on High Street, Church Street and surrounding side streets. Metro link services are also affected. We will provide an update regarding reopenings.”

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