Investigation into Bolton student flat fire focuses on cladding

Fire investigators are looking into the role played by cladding in a student flat fire in Bolton.

The Cube building, which houses more than 200 students at the University of Bolton, did not have the same type of cladding that was a factor in the Grenfell Tower fire of 2017.

But witnesses said the fire spread quickly up the high-pressure laminate (HPL) panels on the outside of the building.

Valeo Urban Student Life (USL), which manages the Cube for the private owners, said that Friday night's fire started on the fourth floor and spread to the sixth floor.

The company says it is committed to helping the inquiry.

"Valeo USL is also actively assisting the emergency services with their investigations into the blaze and is committed to help with any investigations and looks forward to understanding the outcome of those investigations and any lessons that can be learnt."

Valeo USL

The University of Bolton has set up an emergency support centre for students affected by the fire.

Many of them have lost all their personal possessions. More than £11,000 has been raised for the students through a crowdfunding appeal.

The University is providing legal and financial advice and counselling for the students.

They are being rehoused in temporary accommodation.

"They've all got accommodation, they've all got money in their pockets to look after themselves, the university's providing free food and drink...and there's a massive counselling support service in place."

Professor George Holmes, University of Bolton Vice Chancellor