31 Jul 2014
Safety officials are investigating how a “tragic” fire destroyed one of Britain’s most instantly-recognisable seaside landmarks.
A charred metal skeleton is all that remains of Eastbourne Pier after its 144-year history erupted in smoke within a few hours on Wednesday (July 30).
The East Sussex attraction includes a nightclub, arcade, tea rooms and a cafe bar.
RNLI lifeboats from around the area helped firefighters tackle the pier fire at the height of the tourist season.
The structure became engulfed by flames at 3pm before 80 firefighters brought the fire under control just before 8pm. Two hours later the blaze had stabilised enough for operations to be scaled down with about 30 firefighters told to remain at the Victorian structure overnight.
The fire is believed to have started in the amusement arcade.
No known casualties or injuries have been reported, even though the pier and its surroundings were busy when the fire broke out.
Fire crews were hindered by the low pressure of the water and an outgoing ride.
Eastbourne councillor Carolyn Heaps, who is responsible for tourism in the cabinet, said the local authority’s primary concern is the welfare of pier workers and visitors.
Penny Mordaunt, the Fire Minister, is expected to survey the damage.
Copyright Press Association 2014