Bolton flats fire : Heroic County Derry student who lost everything praised for swift action

Kate Farren.
Kate Farren.

A Ballykelly woman has been praised for helping evacuate other students from a fire in a block of flats in Bolton.

Kate Farren, who is in her final year of a sports rehabilitation degree, was been getting ready for a night out after passing an exam when she became aware of a fire on the fourth floor.

Kate, one of the fire wardens at The Cube in Bolton, said she set off the fire alarm and began knocking on the doors of other students to alert them to the fire.

“I got security to contact the fire brigade while another fire warden attempted to put the fire out but at that stage it was uncontrollable. We made sure to get everyone out as quickly as possible.

“I had left my flat with just the clothes I was wearing, I didn’t even have shoes on. It didn’t really sink in how much I had lost until we got outside and watched my flat burn.

“It could have been a lot worse, thankfully everyone was safe.”

Kate is currently staying in a hotel until the university gets permanent accommodation organised for the students affected.

“Everyone has been really good donating food and clothes. The university have also reassured us this won’t impact on our academic studies. They have made sure we have access to laptops and have pushed back deadlines so that has taken a lot of pressure off us.”

Kate was praised for her actions by the Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham during a Channel 4 news interview.