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The flames reported at the top of Blackpool Tower were actually orange netting, police said. (Catherine Gregory/X/PA)

'Orange netting' responsible for reports of fire at England's historic Blackpool Tower

The local fire service had deployed a number of units to the scene.

LAST UPDATE | 28 Dec 2023

POLICE SAY ORANGE netting was responsible for reports of a fire at Blackpool Tower, a 139-year-old landmark in the English town.

In a statement, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service had confirmed that it deployed six fire engines and two specialist units – including a rope rescue team – are at the scene of “a fire” on the promenade in Blackpool.

Videos circulating on social media appeared to show flames at the top of the structure.

The tower was also evacuated, a member of staff told the PA news agency.

However, Blackpool Police have now confirmed that there was no fire at the structure.

“Our helicopter has flown over the tower and there is no fire,” a statement from Chief Superintendent Karen Edwards read.

“We can confirm what can be seen is orange netting.”

The officer added that one man has been arrested on on suspicion of breach of the peace.

A fire rescue team also managed to reach the top of the structure and confirmed there was no fire.

Blackpool Tower first opened in May 1894, and has an entertainment complex at its base with attractions including the famous Tower Ballroom.

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. It is currently closed for renovation.

A spokesperson for Merlin Entertainments, which runs the tower, said: “We can confirm that the fire brigade are on site at the Blackpool Tower and have established that there is no fire.

“Our well-rehearsed emergency procedures were implemented, and we can confirm that what looked like a fire from a distance was in fact lights on a reflective netting surface at the top of the tower.”

No smoke was reported but an investigation was carried out as a standard procedure, the company said.

The surrounding area was evacuated as a precaution.

Additional reporting by PA.

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