Fire crews descended on Old Market Square to tackle a flat fire caused by a hair dryer resting on top of a pile of towels.
Residents described how thick black smoke covered the hallways at the Student Hideout, in the heart of the city centre on Thursday, November 29.
Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service sent two crews to tackle the blaze inside a third-floor flat and evacuate the building.
Nottingham Trent University student Curtis Ryan, 20, who lives on the same floor as the fire, described the dram.
“We heard a loud metallic bang and then smoke alarms went off. We went into the corridor and there was thick black smoke coming out of the door of one of the flats,” he said.
“I called the fire brigade because it was getting worse. Within two minutes it had filled the corridor. They advised us to evacuate the building because it was getting hard to breathe.
“We got outside and, within two minutes, the fire brigade turned up. There are more than 100 people in the building. I do feel a bit shaken up.”
The fire service said that crews from London Road and Carlton were called at 12.45pm. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used a main jet to tackle the fire. The incident had been dealt with by 1.25pm.
A spokesman said: “It is believed that the fire was started by a fault in a hair dryer resting on a pile of towels, plugged into a live electrical socket.
“No-one was injured but it does serve as a reminder that it is best to unplug electrical appliances or turn them off at the socket when they are not in use.
“When it comes to electrical items and appliances, always ensure that you do not leave things on charge overnight beyond the recommended charging time and keep electrical items away from flammable materials.”