The Evening Star explained:
Witnesses watched in amazement as a huge plume of smoke started to rise from one of the legs of Sealand — and boats raced to the scene.
Seafront worker Bruce Harrison said: “It was quite spectacular. The amount of smoke was huge and people kept saying there must have been an explosion.
”At first there was not much smoke at all, but it quickly grew into a huge thick black plume which then drifted northwards for several miles.“
”…it was definitely Sealand [...we] could see flames shooting out of the left-hand pillar of the fort.“
An update to the story from late Saturday night included an official response from Sealand’s Royal Family. Michael Bates, son of Sealand‘s Prince and Princess Roy and June Bates, ”pledged to rebuild its ‘country’ — and to repair all the damage caused by the fire which devastated half of the independent kingdom.“