THE fire which broke out at The Cube had echoes of what happened in the Grenfell Tower blaze ­— but lessons learnt from the tragedy in 2017 undoubtedly saved lives in Bolton.

Metro Mayor Andy Burnham said it was a 'miracle' that no one was seriously injured and there were no fatalities on the night.

The blaze which broke out in the student accommodation block acted in a way it should not have, prompting an immediate evacuation ­— with fire command and evacuation command running alongside each other.

Jim Hutton, who was fire incident commander on the night, said: "I have done 29 years in the service and I have never experienced a rapid fire spread like that or a building behaving in such a way."

Mr Burnham said: "This was an extremely serious incident with echoes of what happened at Grenfell Tower, that could have turned into a very tragic incident with multiple causalities.

"Increasingly with modern buildings built in the last 20 years they are not containing fire and fire is breaking out and behaving in ways firefighters are not trained to expect and it was the learning from Grenfell that lead to Greater Manchester Fire and Service to instigate the enhanced evacuation procedures and that is the big think that was done differently and that was instrumental in the overall response being more successful than might have been expected on the night."

Tony Hunter, Assistant Chief Fire Officer for GMFRS, said: “We had learned many lessons from the terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower in the summer of 2017 and applied that learning to our own emergency response procedures.

“On the night of The Cube fire, GMFRS had already implemented training whereby all firefighters understood the risk of fire taking hold in the external walls of high-rise buildings and knew how to recognise it when it occurred. Our firefighters were also trained to respond to signs of a building that is failing in fire.”

The role the building's external cladding could have played in the fire is subject to another report.