Police have said orange netting flapping in the wind was responsible for a fire scare at Blackpool Tower as man was arrested on suspicion of breach of the peace.
Around 2.15pm on Thursday afternoon, firefighters said they were in attendance at a fire at Blackpool Tower and warned people to avoid the area surrounding the iconic landmark.
Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service said it has sent six fire engines, along with a drone and rope rescue team to the scene on the Promenade in Blackpool.
“Please stay away from the area,” the fire service said. “The drone team are in operation so please do not fly drones in the area as you may obstruct emergency operations.”
But two hours later, around 4.15pm, Lancashire Police confirmed there was in fact no fire at the structure.
In a statement shared on Facebook, Divisional Commander Ch Supt Karen Edwards said: “We are at the scene in support of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Blackpool Council and Merlin Entertainment.
“The top of the tower is currently closed for renovation and difficult to access.
“Our helicopter has flown over the tower and there is no fire. We can confirm what can be seen is orange netting.
“One man has been arrested on suspicion of Breach of the Peace and is being transported to custody.”
The tower had been evacuated as a result of the false alarm.
Footage on social media, which circulated around the time Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service announced it was attending the scene of a fire, appeared to show flames at the top of the 158m tower. It has now been confirmed the footage actually shows orange netting.
Following the statement from the police, Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service said “a combination of factors” led members of the public who called them to the scene to believe there was a fire.
In a follow up post shared on X just before 4.40pm, the fire service said: “The area where the fire was suspected is generally inaccessible, therefore access to this area is difficult. A specialist team from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service gained access and confirmed that there was no fire.”
The Blackpool Tower Eye, located at the top of the structure, enables visitors to take in panoramic views of the north west of England. It is currently closed until March 2024.
Other tower attractions include the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, the Blackpool Tower Circus, the Blackpool Tower Dungeon and the Fifth Floor, which includes a family bar, arcade and virtual reality rollercoaster.
The tower, built by a company led by former Blackpool mayor John Bickerstaffe, was inspired by the design of the Eiffel Tower which opened five years earlier.
This is a breaking news story and is being updated.