Students who lost everything in a blaze that wrecked their Bolton tower block say they initially ignored the smoke alarm - because 'it goes off all the time.'

Some said they were so used to the alarms going off for no reason they ignored the sounds - until they saw it was a real fire on Facebook .

Around 200 students fled for their lives as the blaze ripped through their accommodation, destroying almost everything inside.

Fire chiefs say not all of the students in The Cube have been accounted for, following the devastating fire that consumed the accommodation hundreds of students called home.

Terrifying footage of the incident has emerged showing ferocious flames ripping through the six-storey building.

Some students stayed in their rooms until they saw messages to leave in a Facebook group, reports the Manchester Evening News .

The ferocious fire that ripped through the student building in Bolton
Fire fighters at the scene after the fire broke out on the upper floors of The Cube

Speaking outside the wrecked block this afternoon Moses Quartey, 19, said: "I came out of the shower and I heard a fire alarm. "I saw on our Facebook group it was a real fire."

James Hitchen, 18, who was on the first floor, said: "None of us thought it was a real fire at first. The only reason I went outside was because I started to smell burning and I heard shouting.

"I went outside and saw smoke coming from two flats above."

He admitted he had heard an alarm go off in his room, but said: "I didn't think anything of it because we have had that many."

He said: "The fire spread very, very quickly and people were slow trying to get out."

Many labelled the scenes of the tower block inferno reminiscent of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, in which 72 people lost their lives.

An investigation has been launched into the fire, as social media pictures appeared to show some of the cladding appear to catch fire and melt in the heat of the blaze, reports the Manchester Evening News.

The fire started on the fourth floor of the six-storey building before spreading to the upper floors.

The investigation will consider whether the cladding fitted to the exterior contributed to its blaze.

The blaze rips through the student flats

However the fire chief who saw the emergency has assured that the cladding on the building is not the same type as the material that covered Grenfell.

And it comes as students raise concerns about the quality of the accommodation's fire warning system, telling the MEN they had at first ignored the alarms, as they went off so often when there wasn't even an emergency.

University student Shannon Park, who was in her flat on the fifth floor, 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 flat mates shouted down the corridor that it was a real fire.

"So I ran out the flat as quickly as I could and I have seen that it was one of the flats below mine and we went out by the fire exit."

She believes all of her valuables have been destroyed in the blaze.

Another student, 19, from Essex, who was in his first floor room, said: "I was just sitting there, hanging about and not really doing anything. Then someone knocked on my door.

"The fire alarm was going off but nobody was paying any attention. It goes off all the time, maybe every hour during the day because someone has done something in the kitchen and it's set off the alarm.

The blaze drew a massive emergency services response as hundreds fled the building

"Then someone knocks on my door and it's only a small fire at that stage. Everyone got out well before it was anything (serious). To me it looked like the fire was climbing up the cladding. We all think it's the same cladding as at Grenfell. I'm here, I'm out and I'm alright.

"But if it had gone up in the middle of the night everyone would have slept through the alarm. We have slept through them before when there were non-emergencies."

Another student, 19, from Scunthorpe, said: "I could see smoke coming out of the front door and everybody went out onto the decking at the front of the building."

Student Ace Love, 35, told the Press Association: “The fire kept getting more intense, climbing up and to the right because the wind was blowing so hard.

“We could see it bubbling from the outside and then being engulfed from the outside.

“A lot of students got out very fast, someone was very distressed, the rest were on phones calling for help.

“The fire got worse and worse, to the point where you could see through the beams, it was just bare frame.

Assistant County Fire Officer Dave Keenan said about a 200 firefighters and 20 fire engines were at the scene at the height of the blaze.

The aftermath of the fire today

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.

"Crews continued throughout the night in really difficult circumstances and situations and you can see the result this morning where the fire is extinguished and the crews are just working now to identify any hot-spots.

"We have done some extensive work with Greater Manchester Police, the university and the building owner throughout the night and this morning.

"We have identified and we do know everyone who resided in the building and we are still working to try and contact everyone that lived in the premise. At the minute we cannot confirm that everyone is accounted for but work is on-going to do that."

He said his firefighters would remain at the scene throughout the day.

He added: "One thing that I would just like to confirm and allay any fears is that this cladding on this building was not the same cladding that was on Grenfell."

The fire had spread "extremely quickly throughout those upper floors in the building", he said.

He confirmed there would be a 'full fire investigation'.

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A building inspector is due to examine the site today and only when it is deemed safe will efforts be made to retrieve students' valuables.

However Mr Keenan said the students would "certainly not be coming back into this building".

Greater Manchester Police planned to set up a hotline number where students who have left the scene can report that they are safe and well and they could be ticked off the list.

Bolton University vice chancellor Professor George Holmes also praised the 'amazing emergency services' but went on to confirm a private landlord, not the university, owned The Cube.

The university had set students up with accommodation at its own halls and in a Holiday Inn and Travelodge.

There is also a hotline for relatives and friends of students on 01204 903733.