A man had to be talked down from the roof of a town centre hotel after a fire led to a stand-off lasting more than five hours.
Police, fire and ambulance crews were called to the incident after a 20-year-old man climbed on top of the three-storey Royal Vincent Hotel in Hull Road at around 7am yesterday.
Officers said the stand-off had started after a fire at the hotel, with the man escaping to the roof to avoid capture.
He was finally talked down by police negotiators at around noon.
A man and a 19-year-old woman, both from Wigan, were arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.
Insp Gary Roberts, of Blackpool Police, said: “There had been an incident at the hotel and some fire damage was caused.
“The man was located on the roof of the building and refused to come down.
“Police negotiators attended the scene and he did come down with the help of fire rescue.”
Five police cars, two ambulances and two fire engines attended the scene, with the road closed to traffic for more than five hours.
Eyewitness Darren Wild, 49, of Erdington Road, Blackpool, said: “It’s just such a waste of time. Look at all the rescue crews – police, firefighters and ambulance teams. He has got a lot of businesses closed too and the hotels evacuated.”
Dale Dodwell, 30, a worker at Blackpool Body Art Tattoo, in Hull Road, said the studio had missed out on several hours of business due to the incident.
He added: “It is awful timing for us, particularly at the end of the season – we’ve had to cancel several appointments. He has lost us a lot of business.”
Watch manager Ally Park, of Blackpool Fire Station, confirmed crews were initially called to a suspicious fire at the hotel, before being asked to help with the stand-off.
He added: “Crews were attending what we believed to be a suspicious fire at the hotel at about 6.45am, but in the meantime it was reported a gentleman was on the roof.
“We were involved in regard to giving support to a police negotiator with the aerial ladder platform and he came down about 12.30pm.
“I believe two people have been arrested.”
The 20-year-old man and 19-year-old woman remain in police custody.