Unraveling the ‘Fire’ at Blackpool Tower: A Windy Netting Fiasco

In a peculiar turn of events, what was initially reported as a fire at the iconic Blackpool Tower turned out to be a case of mistaken identity involving flapping orange netting. This incident, though a false alarm, led to a series of events that captured the attention of locals and online communities alike.

The Unfolding Drama

Early Reports and Emergency Response

The drama unfolded around 2:15 pm on Thursday when fire crews were summoned to the Blackpool promenade. Early reports suggested flames near the viewing platform, prompting the Welcome to Blackpool tourist information service to announce the arrival of the fire brigade.

A Closer Look: Not Fire, but Wind-Swept Netting

Contrary to the initial panic, about two hours later, it was revealed that the apparent blaze was nothing more than windswept netting. Lancashire police, in a Facebook statement, clarified that the top of the tower was undergoing renovation and was challenging to access. The supposed fire turned out to be the deceptive appearance of orange netting.

The Arrest and Law Enforcement Response

A twist in the tale emerged as one man was arrested on suspicion of breach of the peace. Lancashire police, collaborating with fire and rescue services, Blackpool council, and Merlin Entertainments, worked swiftly to handle the situation. The police helicopter, providing an aerial view, confirmed the absence of fire, dispelling concerns.

Social Media Hype and Media Coverage

Pictures and videos circulating on social media initially fueled the hysteria, depicting what seemed like flames on the 158-meter high Blackpool Tower. Lancashire fire and rescue’s initial plea for visitors to stay away added to the sensation. However, as the situation unfolded, the media’s focus shifted from a potential disaster to the unusual occurrence of wind-blown netting causing a false alarm.

Blackpool Tower: A Historic Landmark

Tower’s Significance and Features

Blackpool Tower, standing tall since its opening in 1894, holds a special place in the hearts of Britons. Beyond being a tourist attraction, it houses a Sea Life center, the Blackpool Tower Dungeon, Madame Tussauds, and a circus attraction. Its ballroom even hosts a performance in the popular TV show Strictly Come Dancing.

Past Incidents and Evacuations

Notably, in 2018, the tower was the scene of another incident where individuals were temporarily stranded at its pinnacle, requiring a careful evacuation.


In the grand scheme of Blackpool Tower’s history, the ‘fire’ incident will likely be remembered as a peculiar episode rather than a crisis. This amusing turn of events serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of public reactions and the importance of thorough verification before alarming the public. As the winds of Blackpool subsided, so did the embers of the fleeting ‘fire,’ leaving behind a tale of a windy netting fiasco that briefly stole the spotlight from this beloved British landmark.


Q1: What exactly happened at Blackpool Tower?

A1: Initial reports of a fire at Blackpool Tower turned out to be a misunderstanding. It was, in fact, flapping orange netting that created the illusion of flames.

Q2: Why did the situation escalate, and fire crews were called?

A2: Concerned members of the public reported visible flames near the viewing platform. The combination of factors led to the belief that it was a fire, prompting the emergency response.

Q3: Who was arrested, and what were the charges?

A3: One individual was arrested on suspicion of breach of the peace. The charges were related to the perceived threat caused by the false alarm.

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