Investigation begins after fire leaves dozen people stuck at top of Tower

A full investigation into the fire that left around a dozen people stuck at the top of Blackpool Tower for around four hours will be carried out, bosses have promised.

Thursday, 8th March 2018, 8:52 am
Updated Thursday, 8th March 2018, 8:55 am
A dozen people were stuck at the top of the Tower

The popular attraction will re-open on Thursday.

At its peak, there were six crews battling the blaze, which started on the building roof at around 12.40pm on Wednesday.

It is believed a spark leapt onto a fifth floor roof above a storeroom while workers were carrying out repairs following recent strong winds.

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Manager of the Merlin Cluster of attractions in Blackpool, Kate Shane said none of the major attractions were damaged.

She told The Gazette contractors working on the roof had ‘created smoke that then triggered the alarm systems as smoke had got into the roof void’.

She added: “I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I’m going to see the main fire officer to see what the next steps are.

“There will be a full investigation but the plan is to get open again but I don’t know when that is going to be.

“The Ballroom, the Circus and all those areas we love are all absolutely fine.

“The fire was on level five on the south side of the building, nowhere near the Ballroom.”

Initial reports had suggested the fire had started above the Tower Ballroom.

Ms Shane was due to inspect the extent of any damage with fire officers on Wednesday night.

Bank Hey Street was closed as fire crews tackled the blaze, with the smoke filling the base of the lift shaft and stranding those above.

The building was evacuated after the alarm was raised at around 12.40pm yesterday, while the nearby HMV store was forced to close early as customers were told to leave while emergency services took control of the scene.

A Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said at around 4.20pm the fire had been put out but some crews were remaining behind for several hours after the flames were out to prevent it re-igniting.

Most of those inside the Tower were evacuated once the alarm sounded but smoke at the bottom of the lift, which is used to access the viewing platform at the top of the 500ft Tower, meant it was out of action for several hours.

The fire service said the dozen or so people stranded had been in a ‘safe place’ and were not hurt.

They were led to safety about 5pm.