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Devastated Plymouth student 'lost everything' in Bolton flats fire

A student from Plymouth says she has been left with 'absolutely nothing' after her flat was destroyed in last week's devastating fire.

Megan Maitland escaped the blaze at The Cube in Bolton on Friday.

She says she fled in just her pyjamas and saw her 'whole life go up in flames'.

She has been staying in a hotel since the fire broke out but says the university has been 'incredible' in supporting affected students.

The top floor of The Cube, which houses students from the University of Bolton, was gutted and visible damage was caused to the fourth and fifth floors of the six-storey building. Credit: Megan Maitland

That flat was my home. I relocated here over a year ago and had 23 years worth of possessions in there. I watched my whole life go up in flames within minutes. So many irreplaceable momentos that I will never be able to get back. I, along with so many others, have absolutely nothing.

I ran out in just my pyjamas without even socks on as the fire had reached the floor below mine before I was even aware of it. If it weren't for people screaming outside I wouldn't have even left.

I left with no ID and no cards, so can't buy anything. The only thing I own is a set of pyjamas and my phone and a key for a flat that doesn't even exist.

Luckily, the university have been incredible with their response, even though the building is privately owned and has nothing to do with the university. We are being clothed by the generous donations from the amazing community and the university is making sure we are warm, fed and that our mental/physical health is in check.

– Megan Maitland

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Megan studies special effects makeup in Bolton and lost all of her kit and her work, which she says is a 'huge setback'.

Urban Student Life (USL), which manages the property, said all residents were successfully evacuated after the blaze broke out at about 20:30 GMT on Friday.

In a statement, they said two students were treated for "minor injuries" on site, where up to 200 firefighters tackled the blaze.

Firefighters at the scene in Bolton. Credit: PA

An investigation is under way into the cause of the blaze which spread "extremely rapidly" to the upper floors of the building.

The top floor of The Cube, which houses students from the University of Bolton, was gutted and visible damage was caused to the fourth and fifth floors of the six-storey building.

On Saturday afternoon, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said on Twitter that he had asked all universities to "review fire safety procedures" across all accommodation buildings.

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