Blackpool Tower fire: Police and Lancashire Fire and Rescue confirm flames were in fact orange netting

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Emergency services have stood down after reports of a fire at the top of Blackpool Tower was, in fact, orange netting blowing in the wind.

Videos circulating on social media appeared to show the top part of the tower well alight – in the area underneath the Crows Nest where visitors can climb up stairs and get fresh air.

But a joint statement by Blackpool Police and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "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.

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"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 incident was first reported at around 2.15pm today (December 28) and people were evacuated from the area.

Emergency services at the scene this afternoon (Dec 28th)Emergency services at the scene this afternoon (Dec 28th)
Emergency services at the scene this afternoon (Dec 28th) | National World

Kate Shane, regional director for Merlin which operates the Tower on behalf of Blackpool Council, also confirmed the incident had been a false alarm.

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She said a member of the public had mistaken orange netting flapping in the wind at the top of the Tower for flames, and called the fire brigade.

The Tower Eye - the attraction at the top of the Tower - has been closed for planned maintenance work since November.

However staff and members of the public were evacuated from the Tower Ballroom and the Tower Circus which were both open at the time of the alert, as part of the attraction's normal emergency procedures.

Ms Shane said: "It was a great response from the fire brigade, ambulance service and police and the Blackpool Tower team, and our procedures were activated according to plan so I'm proud of how we handled it.

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"Thankfully there was no fire and it was a false alarm. A member of the public has seen what they thought was fire, but was orange netting flapping at the top of the Tower." The Tower will be open as normal tomorrow, with the Ballroom back open on Saturday."

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