Students evacuated from accommodation block after huge blaze breaks out at derelict bar

Students were swiftly evacuated from their accommodation in Bolton on Tuesday evening after a blaze broke out at a derelict bar next door. The fire, which spread through the former McCauley’s Bar, on Bradshawgate, took hold of the building at around 6pm and caused huge clouds of smoke to cover the area.

Fire crews rushed to the scene and quickly ushered students living in The Cube accommodation block out into the streets for their safety, after a ‘significant’ amount of smoke had entered their apartments through open windows. After the incident, it was confirmed there were no injuries.

A large cordon was erected in the town centre, and remained in place throughout the evening. The A575 was closed in both directions between Silverwell Street and A579 Lower Bridgeman Street shortly after 6.30pm as crews hosed down the fire.

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It is not yet known how the fire started, but the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service confirmed the building was derelict. When crews arrived, the fire was already ‘well alight.’ Onlookers watched on as thick smoke billowed from the first floor windows of the empty building.

It was at approximately 5.55pm that the emergency services were first called to reports of the building on fire. Six fire engines from Farnworth, Whitefield and Bolton stations, alongside the hydraulic platform from Leigh and a Command Unit from Rochdale made their way to the scene.

The scene was expected to clear by the early hours of Wednesday morning (April 20). Evacuated students were told they could return to their flats later on Tuesday night as public transport was also amused throughout the evening.

The building in question, which was formerly McCauley’s Bar, closed down in 2017. It is understood that after that it was occupied by the 0161 Community Charity as a community hub.

GMFRS Area Manager, Ben Levy said: “We were called to reports of a fire at a disused building on Bradshawgate, in Bolton. Firefighters swiftly entered the building to tackle the fire using ladders and high reach aerial platforms.

“A significant amount of smoke had entered nearby student accommodation via open windows. As a result, the block was evacuated safely and quickly with no reported injuries. The students will be able to return to the building later this evening.

“Thanks to the quick response of our firefighters, the fire has been contained to the derelict building. Firefighters are expected to remain on scene for a number of hours and disruption to local residents should be over by the early hours of the morning.”

In 2019 a huge fire broke out at the Cube student accommodation block next door after a lit cigarette was discarded. The fire started on the building’s fourth floor shortly before 8.30pm on the night of November 15 and was soon declared a ‘major incident’ as violent flames tore through the apartment block.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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