A top lawyer has said Glasgow cannot afford to wait for a tragedy before taking action on fire safety in city student accommodation buildings.

Aamer Anwar is to demand answers from the University of Glasgow and Glasgow City Council in response to a devastating fire which ravaged halls of residence in Bolton this weekend.

Two people were injured in the large blaze in Greater Manchester on Friday night, which saw more than 40 firefighters at the scene for over 12 hours.

One eyewitness described the fire as “crawl[ing] up the cladding like it was nothing”.

Now Anwar, the Glasgow University Rector, said he is seeking assurances that this will not happen in Glasgow, and says the city cannot afford to wait.

READ MORE: PM urged to give families ‘peace of mind’ by removing cladding after flats fire

He said: “This time we are lucky that over 200 students escaped with their lives, but coming two years after Grenfell, assurances are no longer enough.

"It might not be the same cladding as Grenfell but it’s still flammable, there were reports of fire alarms not working and no building in the 21st Century should react to fire like this.

"As Rector and a Glaswegian, I have watched our city landscape change over 30 years with private student accommodation rapidly created and sold as ‘wealth investment opportunities’.

"Scotland has the toughest fire safety laws in the UK and the Scottish Government, the GCC and our University reacted quickly after Grenfell, but we cannot afford to wait for people to die in an inferno before taking further action."

Anwar says he will be asking the University of Glasgow and Glasgow City Council to disclose which private student residences have combustible cladding, regardless of the building height.

In 2017, 72 people died in West London when a fire broke out in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block of flats.

The fire was started by a malfunctioning fridge-freezer on the fourth floor, and spread rapidly up the building's exterior. 

READ MORE: Glasgow high-rise fire eyewitness’ fears after Grenfell disaster

Anwar added: "I will be asking our University and Glasgow City Council to disclose which private student residences have combustible cladding regardless of the building height.

"I want to know if we are still using the widely discredited inadequate British Standard Test 8414 and which buildings below 18m are covered with flammable cladding.

"If anyone wants to house our students then should know they will be subjected to ongoing rigorous fire-safety checks and loopholes will not be available to them just so they can make a profit at the expense of safety.”

A spokesman for the University of Glasgow said: ‘We would like to express our sympathies for those who have been affected by the fire in Bolton.

"We are confident that all of our student accommodation is safe and conduct regular inspections and risk assessments."