A BLAZE has engulfed Blackpool Tower – with with visitors being evacuated and told to “stay away”.
A viewing platform near the very top of the 520ft iconic tourist attraction has gone up in flames on Thursday afternoon.
Cops were spotted putting a man in cuffs as shocking photos show a fierce orange glow wreck the historic landmark.
People are watching terrifyingly from down below as crews battle to extinguish the horror.
Six fire engines have been dispatched to the scene.
A specialist climbing team are also in attendance as smoke fills the streets of the seaside town.
It is not yet clear whether the man has been cuffed in relation to the fire.
Traumatised locals have cried how “devastating” the news is.
An eyewitness told LancsLive: “The street behind the tower was cordoned off, so you can’t get any closer.
“It’s been absolute chaos down here – people don’t expect something like this to happen to such a famous building.
“You can smell smoke down on the street.”
One person on X, formerly known as Twitter, said: “Blackpool Tower top is on fire, lots of people on the Promenade confused and panicking.
“Seems to be the top, below the Crows Nest. I really hope nothing is lost and everyone is ok. Devastating news.”
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We have 6 fire engines, the drone team and the rope rescue team currently in attendance at a fire on Promenade, Blackpool.
“Please stay away from the area.
“The drone team are in operation so please do not fly drones in the area as you may obstruct emergency operations.”
The Blackpool Tower first opened in 1894 and was at the time the tallest artificial structure in the UK and the world’s tallest building.
There have been two significant fires at the tower, one in 1897 and a second in 1956.
The 19th century blaze destroyed two viewing platforms, ropes and supports for the tower.
The second was caused by a lit cigarette which wrecked the tower ballroom and the lounge, with repairs taking 18 months to complete.
And a 2018 fire saw a dozen people stuck at the top of the tower for four hours as crews raced to stop the spread of the blaze.
During WW2, it was used as a radar station to defend the North West against German aerial attacks.
It was declared a Grade 1 listed building in 1973.
An annual live episode of Strictly Come Dancing is filmed in the tower’s ballroom, while a zoo and circus have also been held there.
A 2014 BBC article said 650,000 people visited the tower every year, while 18m visited Blackpool in 2021.
The tower was modelled after Paris’ Eiffel Tower after the mayor of Blackpool visited the Great Paris Exhibition in 1889.