A huge fire has broken out at a university student accommodation block.
Crowds of students have been evacuated from the building in Bradshawgate in Bolton and police have urged people to avoid the area.
One witness said the fire was “climbing up” the six-storey building and “bubbling from the outside”.
Great Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said 25 fire engines had been at the scene since about 20: 30 GMT. It is not known if there are any injuries.
University of Bolton student Shannon Parker, who lives in the building, said she was in her room when the fire started.
“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 flatmates shouted down the corridor that it was a real fire, “the 22 – year-old said.
“So I ran out the flat as quickly as I could and I saw that it was one of the flats below mine and we went out by the fire exit. “
She said she was being relocated to either a nearby hotel or another student accommodation building.
Videos posted on social media show debris falling from the building and firefighters tackling flames coming out of the windows on the top floors.
One student tweeted to say she had to leave her belongings and added: “But the main thing is I’m out and I’m safe. “
Witness Ace Love, 35, said 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,” he added.
“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.”
A spokesperson for the fire service said there were also two aerial appliances being used to tackle the fire.
“Local residents are being asked to keep their windows and doors shut and avoid the area where possible,” they
Greater Manchester Police said a number of road closures were in place.