Police have confirmed a reported fire at the top of Blackpool Tower was in fact orange netting blowing in the wind.
Firefighters rushed to reports of a blaze near the top of the attraction on the seaside town’s promenade on Thursday afternoon.Six fire engines, a drone team and rope rescue team from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service were in attendance and ordered people to stay away from the area.The Welcome to Blackpool tourist information service said firefighters with climbing gear were “on their way up” and some eyewitnesses said they could smell smoke.
“The drone team are in operation so please do not fly drones in the area as you may obstruct emergency operations,” the fire service said. at the time.But emergency services have since confirmed there was no fire.
Lancashire Police said in a statement: “We know there are reports of a fire at Blackpool Tower and we just wanted to give you an update from our Divisional Commander Ch Supt Karen Edwards.
“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.”Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said in a post on X: “Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service were called to Promenade, Blackpool today by concerned members of the public, due to a combination of factors that led them to believe it was a fire.
“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.
“This incident was supported by the National Police Air Service, who used thermal imaging which provided further assurance.”
The incident was first reported at around 2.15pm on Thursday and people are being urged to avoid the area.
Videos posted to social media appear to show flames flicking near the top of the iron structure on Thursday afternoon.
The Welcome to Blackpool tourist information service had stated: “Fire at the top of Blackpool Tower … Hope the fire can be dealt with quickly and safely to limit any damage. Will update when more info is available.”The Blackpool Tower Eye, the visitor attraction at the very top of the structure, was not open to visitors today, according to the tower’s website.
One person described how you “can smell smoke down on the street” near the tower and that people had been evacuated from the landmark.
They told local news website LancsLive: “At least three fire engines arrived in a matter of minutes, and then 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 and see what looks like flames coming from where I think the viewing platform is. We heard everyone inside had been evacuated. I hope nobody was hurt.”
Former Blackpool mayor Sir John Bickerstaffe had the idea of building a Lancashire version of the Eiffel Tower following a trip to Paris in 1889.
The 158m structure was built between 1891 and 1894 and is a Grade I listed building.
It first opened to the public on May 14 1894.
The Tower contained 2,493 tonnes of steel and 93 tonnes of cast iron while the building at its base contains 985 tonnes of steel and 259 tonnes of cast iron.
It is the 125th tallest freestanding tower in the world, and features a glass-floored “skywalk” at the top offering visitors views of Liverpool and the Isle of Man.