The Cube: Incident Report and Key Observations

On 15 November 2019 a fire broke out at The Cube, student accommodation in Bolton town centre. The speed with which the fire took hold and the devastating impact it had on the building was truly shocking.

As well as our own colleagues, residents of The Cube displayed courage, integrity and community spirit as they found themselves involved in a major incident. Partners from North West Fire Control, Greater Manchester Police, North West Ambulance Service, Bolton Council and the University of Bolton also responded with courage and commitment to support operational firefighting, strategic decision making, and the evacuation and relocation of residents.

The incident highlights the risks within the built environment and the national pattern of buildings failing in fires.

We are very proud that the overall response was a clear example of the high standards and professionalism that exist across Greater Manchester.

Thanks to the quick and effective decision-making of firefighters and officers on the night, and the actions of many of the students themselves, there was thankfully no loss of life.

GMFRS has developed The Cube: Incident Report and Key Observations, the purpose of which is to provide an outline of the fire at The Cube and allow us to offer constructive learning outcomes identified from an analysis of our own operational response to the incident and the wider organisational support mechanisms. GMFRS feels duty bound to provide this summary to all interested parties and stakeholders, including residents of The Cube and the wider public.

This report also serves as an opportunity specifically for Fire and Rescue Services and other responders to reflect on operational preparedness and the provision of service delivery, and where identified as necessary to implement or adapt GMFRS’ own reflection and analysis into any local arrangements.

The Cube: Incident Report and Key Observations

For further information regarding the report or the fire at The Cube, please contact BuiltEnvironmentProject@manchesterfire.gov.uk.