Friends ran into burning apartments to warn people to get out

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Two young bar workers bravely ran inside a burning apartment building to urge unaware residents to evacuate immediately.

Connor Scarratt and Alex Palmer were starting their shift at Birdies Bar and Barbecue, in Cains Brewery, when they spotted flames coming from the nearby high-rise apartment block.

As thick black smoke enveloped Parliament Street, next to the Baltic Triangle, they immediately ran over to the flats and started to hammer on the windows.

When a man emerged from the front door, Connor and Alex ran inside and hammered on residents front doors, even venturing to upper floors, shouting to them to evacuate the building.

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Connor, 20, told the ECHO: "I saw smoke and then within seconds the scaffolding was going up, so we decided to go round and see if we could help as people live there.

"As soon as we came round, the whole of the street was black smoke, we were banging on the windows and buzzing on the buzzer trying to get people to open their door.

"A few people came out, and one guy came out, so we could get in, I was on one floor, banging on the doors, telling everyone there's a fire, as there was no fire alarm going off.

"Alex was on another floor doing the sane, and she rang the fire brigade and within minutes they were there.

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"Most people were confused as it was quite early."

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Alex Palmer 25, said: "I was walking into work thinking it was a regular day a Birdies, and when I met Connor I saw there was a fire.

"We ran round and could see people in the windows, so we tried to buzz on the doors , but no acknowledgement so we banged on the windows.

"We got the opportunity to run in so we went into overdrive and told everyone there was a fire.

Mike Tansey with this picture of smoke billowing from a building. The fire has closed Parliament Street both ways.

"I went to the third floor and Connor was on the second floor.

"As we left 15 police and fire engines and everything were there.

"There were no fire alarms going off in the building.

"As we banged on the doors, people thought we were joking or winding the up, but I made sure they knew we weren't.

"It wasn't meant to be some big hero thing!"

The large fire broke out at about 9.40am this morning on the fifth and sixth floors of the high rise apartment block, where many students live.

The blaze could be seen in the scaffolding area of the structure, which is currently under development.

An aerial appliance was used to access the upper levels and blackened metal could be seen afterwards when the blaze had been dampened down.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Incident Commander, Craig Whitfield, who is at the scene, said: "Crews faced a well-developed fire on the 5th and 6th floors and commenced an assertive and effective attack.

"The aerial ladder platform has proven effective in the external attack."

He added: "The fire service implemented a building evacuation early in the incident."

It is not believed there are any injuries.

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Crews are starting to scale back operations but are likely to remain on scene for a number of hours.

The cause of the fire is yet to be confirmed, but sources indicated an electrical fault or arson are unlikely.

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