An investigation is under way into the cause of a blaze at a student accommodation block in Bolton, Greater Manchester 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.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service would not be drawn on how the fire started but confirmed the building did not have the same type of cladding that combusted in the Grenfell Tower fire of 2017.
Witnesses said what appeared to be a small fire ripped through the upper part of the town centre six-storey building "within minutes" as it tore up and across.
Ace Love, 35, who described the fire as "crawling up the cladding like it was nothing", told the PA news agency: "The fire kept getting more intense, climbing up and to the right because the wind was blowing so hard."
Paramedics treated two people at the scene for minor injuries, including one person rescued by fire crews from an aerial platform, after the blaze broke out at about 8.30pm on Friday.
On Saturday, Assistant chief Fire Officer Dave Keelan, from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, said crews worked hard through the night to extinguish the blaze with more than 20 fire engines attending at the height of the incident.
Speaking at the scene, he said: "I really want to praise the actions of my firefighters and officers last night.
"Their early intervention and quick decision-making that evacuated this building at pace early on in the incident has made a real difference to the outcome today.
"The fire spread extremely quickly, that's why I can't praise the firefighters enough for initiating a full evacuation as soon as they got here but the fire did spread extremely quickly throughout those upper floors of the building."
Mr Keelan said an investigation into the cause of the blaze would now take place but he would not be drawn on how and where it started.
He said: "We are going to continue to be here throughout the day and working very closely with the building owner to move this forward in the coming days.
"One thing I would like to just confirm, and allay any fears, is this cladding on this building was not the same cladding that was on Grenfell."
My thoughts are with all those affected by the serious fire in Bolton last night.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) November 16, 2019
Thank you to emergency services for your brave response.
I have spoken with AFC Tony Hunter who is in charge at the scene, and we are doing everything to ensure they have all the required support.
University of Bolton student Shannon Parker, 22, lives in the building.
She said: "I was in my room whilst it was happening. I heard the fire alarm going off but it kept on going off so I just thought it was a drill at first until one of my flatmates shouted down the corridor that it was a real fire.
"So I ran out the flat as quickly as I could and I saw that it was one of the flats below mine and we went out by the fire exit."
She said she was being relocated to either a nearby hotel or another student accommodation building.
Thank you to the 40 fire crews who tackled the #BoltonFire and the emergency services who treated people at the student accommodation.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 16, 2019
If reports are correct and flammable cladding contributed to the fire, it shows the government's shameful inaction since Grenfell.