Police say ‘fire’ at Blackpool Tower was orange netting fluttering in the wind

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service urged people to not fly drones around landmark structure

Alex Ross,Barney Davis
Thursday 28 December 2023 23:39

Blackpool Tower ‘fire’ found to be orange netting

Fire crews were called to Blackpool Tower this afternoon after a suspected blaze broke out near the top of the iconic seaside structure - before it turned out to be orange netting fluttering in the wind.

Video shared on social media showed ‘flames’ at the top of the structure, which opened in 1894. The suspected blaze appeared to be in an area underneath the Crows Nest, which visitors can climb up to.

The incident, first reported at 2.15pm today, triggered an emergency response. Police later confirmed that suspected flames were in fact orange netting.

The tower was seen burning

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said in a statement earlier: “We have six 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.”

Pictures taken from the scene show a specialist climbing team from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service at the scene, meanwhile there is a heavy traffic on the Promenade. Lancashire Police also attended. A spokesperson said the force was supporting fire and rescue teams.

The structure opened in 1894

One person described a scene of “chaos” as emergency services arrived at the seen. Speaking to Lancs Live, they said: “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.”

The bright lights of Blackpool may have earned the town the nickname of the “Las Vegas of the north”, but it was Paris and the Eiffel Tower mayor John Bickerstaffe had in mind when he commissioned Matcham to create the Blackpool Tower.

The tower itself opened in 1894, with the ballroom as it stands now opening five years later. When a fire devastated the venue in 1956, it took two years and £500,000 to rebuild what was lost. This included the dance floor, which had been destroyed in the process.

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