wooden balconies on Saturday afternoon 30th December

No one was injured in the inferno although there are safety fears after it emerged the flames spread across wooden balconies — in chilling echos of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

But a quick response from the emergency services meant everyone escaped alive. Three people were treated for smoke inhalation, two on site and one in hospital, and five people had to be rehoused in a neighbouring hotel.

Greater Manchester fire and rescue said the blaze, which started on the ninth floor, was thought to have spread via external wooden balconies, and no cladding was involved.

It said the eighth floor was damaged by smoke and floors 10 and 11 were affected externally.