A fierce fire broke out at a 12 story residential block on Joiner Street, Manchester, close to the Arndale Centre. The blaze affected at least three floors and caused major damage to four residential flats.
The blaze was reported to the Manchester Fire Brigade at approximately 4:00pm on Saturday 30th December. As a result and due to its severity, twelve fire engines were sent to attend the scene.
Social media images posted online, led people to think the worst as images of smoke and flames wrapping around the multi-story building were published.
The Manchester fire spread up the modern tower building via the wooden balconies. Fortunately, unlike the Grenfell Tower tragedy, there was no outer cladding that could have increased the damage.
Amazingly, nobody was seriously injured during the blaze. However, three people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and a 23-year-old man was taken to a nearby hospital. The emergency services have been praised for their bravery and rapid response.
Onlooker Mark Denby said: “There were groups of people congregating on street corners looking up at a tower block and I saw… flames licking up the side of the building”. “It was pretty horrifying”. Mark added that crowds which had gathered, cheered the fire services for “doing a heroic job” at tackling the blaze.
A second witness Andrew Hirst stated: “You could hear the crowd’s cheers as it was going down”. “You could see the torches from the firemen searching the burned-out apartments right next door to the other apartments that were still frighteningly ablaze.”
Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell published on social media that the Northern Quarter tower block was “safely evacuated”. Police have reported that five residents whose property’s have been severely affected, have now been temporarily rehoused.
The fire was reported to have begun on the 9th floor and the cause is yet to be announced. However, one line of enquiry into the fire source is suggested to have been a pan of food, left to cook unattended.
Joiner Street had been cornered off for public safety, while further enquiries into the cause are currently being investigated.
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Original Source: BBC News | The Guardian | Manchester Evening News