Around 300 students fled city centre halls of residence on Thursday after a fire broke out.


The students, many of whom are enrolled at Liverpool John Moores University, were alerted by an alarm at around 7am when a fire started in an open plan kitchen in the Great Newton Hall, off London Road.


Kyle Barr, 18, from Strabane, Northern Ireland, heard the fire alarm and went into the communal kitchen and living room area. The Sports Science student told JMU Journalism: "The TV in the corner was like a ball of flames, I tried to put it out but I failed so I just tried to get everyone awake."


Chris Coiley, 24, a history student from Belfast, banged

on fellow students' doors to help the evacuation. “A lot of

people had been out the night before so were fast

asleep,” he said. “There was a lot of smoke but you could

see enough to get out.”


Caitlin Boylan, 21, who is currently studying Events

Management at the University was woken by the fire alarm

at around 7am.


She said: “The fire alarm started going off and at first I

thought it was just somebody playing a prank. Then I

looked out of my window and saw everyone going out

onto the street.


"When I got outside I could see loads of black smoke

coming from the roof, then suddenly the fire brigade arrived.”


Students waited in dressing gowns for two hours on Lower Gill Street until fire crews put out the blaze and it was safe to return to the building.


The residents who lived in the fire-damaged flat will be housed in Opal Court for a month while repairs are carried out. The television, a computer games console and other property were completely destroyed.


Merseyside Fire Authority is planning talks about the fire service budget after planned cuts mean 92 fire-fighters will be made redundant over the next two years.


Watch Manager Ian Wilson said: “The fire was in the communal kitchen and common room area. It was well established and the building heavily smoke logged.


"We did a thorough and detailed search of all the rooms to make sure everyone was out, but all the students had been evacuated safely. An investigation team is at the scene looking into the cause of the fire.”


JMU Journalism attempted to contact Opal, which manages Great Newton Hall, but nobody was available for comment.



Students flee 'ball of flames' at city halls

By Joe Lanigan Smith, Jonathan Bridge & Chris Bradley, JMU Journalism Liverpool Life

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The fire broke out in a room at Great Newton Hall, forcing students out into the street (Pics © Trinity Mirror)

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Pic © Trinity Mirror

Students were disturbed out of their beds

In pictures