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FLATS FIRE: Investigation continues as students are rehoused
12:26pm Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in News
A FIRE that caused more than 100 student flats to be evacuated began in a kitchen but the precise cause remains unclear, fire chiefs have said.
As reported last night, fire broke out at about 9.30pm yesterday in the top-floor of the new Boulevard student accommodation in Hull Road.
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service said today that the fire began in the kitchen of the bedsit-style flat but they were continuing to investigate.
The Boulevard was built last year on the site of the former Hull Road dairy, and houses 122 students from Goodricke College, a mixture of first-year students who arrived in York only at the weekend and some from upper years. Many were out when the fire began but those on-site had to evacuate the building.
Those living on the top floor of block A, where the fire was, were unable to return to their flats last night.
In a statement on its website, the University of York said: "All students resident in the Boulevard were swiftly evacuated by fire services whilst the fire was dealt with. 14 students have subsequently been housed temporarily in nearby University-owned bed and breakfast residence, Franklin House, and will remain there until university and fire services have assessed the damage and ascertained when they can return."
The university said the Boulevard, like all its accommodation, met with its rigorous safety checks. The fire alarm went off automatically.
The statement added: "Staff from the Student Support Services are working with affected students to assist with funds, clothing, access to mobile telephones and welfare support as required."
Acting Vice-Chancellor Jane Grenville thanked firefighters for their swift response and thanked Goodricke College Provost Jane Clarbour, Goodricke Tutor Rosa Kwok, who lives in the Boulevard, the Students' Union Welfare Officer and other university and union staff who arrived "almost immediately" to help students.
She said: "We are thankful that no one was injured but this has obviously been a shock to those affected. Our student services team will be on hand to ensure that assistance is available to support them in their return to their homes and to ensure that their start of term is not affected any further."
Five fire engines from York, Acomb and Harrogate attended the fire.