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Fire at Blackpool Tower - Just flapping orange netting

Fire at Blackpool Tower - Just flapping orange netting Photo: Blackpool Tower incident - Flapping orange netting misinterpreted as fire (GettyImages)

A false alarm of a fire at Blackpool Tower initially believed to be a blaze, was later identified as merely orange netting flapping in the wind, leading to the arrest of a man for breaching the peace. The incident caused a significant emergency response, including fire crews and a police helicopter, according to The Guardian.

The alarm was raised when social media posts and tourist information services reported a fire at Blackpool Tower. Fire crews and a drone team were dispatched to the scene around 2.15 pm, and the Lancashire police provided support.

According to a Facebook statement by Lancashire police, "We are at the scene in support of Lancashire fire and rescue service, Blackpool council and Merlin Entertainments".

However, after thorough inspection, including using a police helicopter and thermal imaging, it was confirmed that what appeared to be flames was orange netting, part of ongoing renovation works at the tower.

Despite initial concerns, no fire was present, and the situation was quickly resolved.

Safety challenges

Blackpool Tower, opened in 1894, is a renowned British landmark and a popular tourist attraction, housing a Sea Life Centre, Madame Tussauds, a circus, and the famous ballroom featured in the TV show Strictly Come Dancing.

The tower has a history of notable events, including an incident in 2018 where several people were trapped at the top and required evacuation.

The recent false fire alarm highlights the challenges of managing safety and public perception at such high-profile sites.