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Call to strip cladding from hundreds more tower blocks after fire at Bolton student flats

Call to strip cladding from hundreds more tower blocks after horrifying fire at student flats in Bolton

  •  Residents of The Cube fled from the Bolton building in their pyjamas on Friday
  • Fire is thought to have started on 4th floor before spreading across the cladding
  • Labour’s Clive Betts estimated ‘hundreds more buildings’ may have flammable cladding

A blaze which ripped through student flats has triggered calls for similar cladding to be stripped from ‘hundreds of buildings’.

Residents of The Cube, a private apartment block in Bolton, fled in their pyjamas as flames tore through the six-storey building on Friday night. Two were injured and one had to be rescued by firemen.

The fire is thought to have started on the fourth floor before spreading rapidly across the cladding – believed to be a type of high pressure laminate (HPL), made from wood pulp, banned in new buildings.

A blaze which ripped through student flats in Bolton has triggered calls for similar cladding to be stripped from ‘hundreds of buildings’

Residents of The Cube, a private apartment block in Bolton, fled in their pyjamas as flames tore through the six-storey building on Friday night. Pictured: Firefighters examine cladding at the scene

Residents of The Cube, a private apartment block in Bolton, fled in their pyjamas as flames tore through the six-storey building on Friday night. Pictured: Firefighters examine cladding at the scene

The fire is thought to have started on the fourth floor before spreading rapidly across the cladding – believed to be a type of high pressure laminate (HPL), made from wood pulp, banned in new buildings

The fire is thought to have started on the fourth floor before spreading rapidly across the cladding – believed to be a type of high pressure laminate (HPL), made from wood pulp, banned in new buildings 

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is investigating the role the cladding played.

Labour candidate Clive Betts, who was chairman of the Commons housing committee before the election began, said: ‘Any material which is not of limited combustibility should not merely be banned from new buildings but taken off existing ones.’

Labour candidate Clive Betts, who was chairman of the Commons housing committee before the election began, estimated ‘hundreds more buildings’ may have flammable cladding and that renovations could cost £3 billion

Labour candidate Clive Betts, who was chairman of the Commons housing committee before the election began, estimated ‘hundreds more buildings’ may have flammable cladding and that renovations could cost £3 billion

Mr Betts estimated ‘hundreds more buildings’ may have flammable cladding and that renovations could cost £3 billion. Gordon Cooke, a fire safety engineer, said: ‘I would not expect HPL [alone] to produce a fire of that severity. It’s likely to be due to plastic foam insulation on the inside. I would be concerned about using such a material in a building where people sleep.’ The type of HPL mentioned in planning documents for The Cube is rated as ‘combustible’ with a ‘medium contribution to fire’, according to EU standards.

Such cladding was blamed for the spread of a fire at Lakanal House tower block, south London, where six died in 2009.

Yesterday, the upper storeys of The Cube, which housed 220 University of Bolton students, were a charred shell. Those made homeless are being rehoused.

HPL is different to the material on Grenfell Tower, where a blaze killed 72 in west London in 2017.

In the wake of the disaster, HPL was no longer allowed on buildings over 18metres. The Cube is under 18metres. Urban Student Life, which managed The Cube for owners Idealsite, said the firms were co-operating with the investigation.

Yesterday, the upper storeys of The Cube, which housed 220 University of Bolton students, were a charred shell. Those made homeless are being rehoused

Yesterday, the upper storeys of The Cube, which housed 220 University of Bolton students, were a charred shell. Those made homeless are being rehoused

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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