The Parkway Gate fire: Everything we know

The student halls on Chester Street were ablaze for three hours on Monday night


Fire crews were called to Parkway Gate, private student halls costing £162 per week on Monday night following reports of a fire.

The halls, owned by Unite Students, are fitted with smoke alarms, although these alarms failed to sound.

The Tab Manchester spoke to residents and witnesses who were at the scene on Monday to find out exactly what happened, and why the students in residence there were put into such a dangerous situation.

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The fire started at approximately 10.30pm Monday night

At 10.30pm on Monday, firefighters were called to a fire at Parkway Gate halls. There were around 25 firefighters who attended the scene for three hours.

It is believed that the fire was caused accidentally

The fire reportedly started in a ground floor storeroom, Greater Manchester Fire released a statement following the incident:

"Initial findings of a joint investigation by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Greater Manchester Police has found that the fire was not deliberate. The fire investigation continues."

It's not clear how residents were notified of the fire

Whilst no one was hurt, it's being reported by residents at Parkway Gate that the fire alarms failed to detect the blaze.

Richard, who studies film making at Manchester Metropolitan University, told The Tab Manchester: "I live next to Parkway Gate and I was just coming back from HOME cinema when we smelt smoke and saw some embers. First of all we thought it was a bonfire but as we got closer we realised it was the building.

"I could see people running down the stairwell of one of the buildings looking pretty scared. I don’t know how long we were standing there but about 7 fire trucks arrived, an ambulance and police van. I’m just glad no one was injured because it could have been a lot worse."

The Tab also spoke to Aydin, a Sports and Business Coaching student at UCFB.

He said: "We were up in the flat on the twelfth floor. We didn’t smell any smoke or hear any alarms. A couple of the guys were in the kitchen and could see people from the building across the road staring at the building but had no idea why.

"Then one of the lads clocked on that there was a fire, opened the door and the smell of smoke came through, so we put our shoes on and headed for the exit.

"The stairwell was very smokey the further down and down to the exit we got! We came outside to the firemen putting the last remains of the fire out with about 100 people or so in the courtyard looking at the storage room that was on fire.

"We had no idea what had actually kicked off until we spoke to some of the people that were outside. They said the whole wooden storage area was on fire and that some people had to evacuate our building directly past it. We genuinely had no idea or warning what was going on because there was no alarm system in the flat warning us or anything."

Unite Students have released a statement on twitter, although as yet there has been no apology or explanation for the alarm failure

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