A DEVASTATED student has told how she lost all her work and possessions in a towering inferno that consumed her student accommodation.

Genevieve Thorpe saw a “wall of fire” where her front door had been when she returned from a job interview to witness a blaze ripping through a privately-owned Cube tower block that housed hundreds of Bolton University students.

Left with just the clothes on her back and a bag of identification documents that she’d taken to her Yo Sushi interview, the 19-year-old is struggling to come to terms with what happened.

She said: “It was crazy to come back and see everything up in flames. My stomach dropped and it still doesn’t feel real – sometimes I think I can go back to something that doesn’t exist anymore.

“Everyone’s still quite numb to it all. It’s like I’ve lost my identity and don’t know who I am any more, I’m not the same person.

“It was lucky that I wasn’t there at the time. I got a phone call from my flatmate on the fifth floor and couldn’t believe it when she told me what had happened.

“I’ve lost all my clothes, all the expensive kit for my special effects make-up course, my laptop, and photos I took with a Polaroid camera, which captured happy memories."

The fire in The Cube began around 8.30pm on Saturday and quickly spread along the outside of the six-storey building.

Around 200 firefighters from 40 fire engines spent the entire night tackling the blaze.

Genevieve’s mum Tina Thorpe was with her daughter when she received the panicked phone call and had to race back from Manchester to the flat.

Tina said: “She’s my only daughter so I’m just glad that she’s safe, that’s the most important thing, but this has knocked everyone sideways.

“She’s been very mature and responsible. She’s grown up very quickly, but it’s been awful for her.

"She has had a couple of meltdowns – while we took her shopping for new clothes, she sat on the floor crying.

“I’m going to think twice about letting her rent private flats now. The way the Bolton community has come together in response to this has been brilliant.”

Now living in university-owned accommodation, Genevieve praised the response from the college and sympathetic Boltonians who have been quick to offer much-needed support and supplies.

Genevieve added: “Having all this support was the saving grace. I’ve never felt safer than in this uni-owned flat because the sense of community is amazing and what they have done for the students has been beautiful.

“During the fire, the uni staff didn’t leave until everyone had a new place to stay. Donations have been flooding in and the university has offered us counselling, solicitors, and financial advisors.

“I’m determined to continue my studies because this course is something I’ve wanted to do for years. It gives me something to focus on and I want to re-establish some sort of normality after what happened. This has really put things into perspective.”