Just one day after the official launch for the replacement for Brighton’s fire-ravaged West Pier, Eastbourne Pier a few miles down the coast is ablaze.
The fire is believed to have broken out in wall panelling in the arcade game building. It is now under control, according to East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
Large parts of the Victorian structure have been saved, including its camera obscura. There are no reports of any injuries and the pier has been safely evacuated.
People are advised to avoid Marine Parade to allow emergency services to do their job.
At its height, 80 firefighters battled the blaze, and about 60 are still at the scene, as well as fire investigators. Some used lifeboats to help tackle the fire from the sea and an aerial platform is being used as a water tower to prevent the fire from spreading on the shore side.
Others wearing breathing apparatus have been on the pier as efforts continue to stop the fire spreading further along the structure.
They are expected to be there for some hours to come.
Such a shame…. pic.twitter.com/BVzt80ezHW
— Eastbourne Lifeboats (@rnliEastbourne) July 30, 2014
— Lee Markham (@LewisBoom) July 30, 2014
Sitting on Eastbourne beach and pier is on fire pic.twitter.com/Rs8CKAEqMf
— Emma Read (@TheEmmaNent) July 30, 2014
SERVICES TO EASTBOURNE are terminating at the Arndale Centre due to the Pier being on fire.
— B&H Buses (@BrightonHoveBus) July 30, 2014
Earlier this afternoon, a spokesman for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: “Around 60 firefighters are now in attendance and tackling the fire.
“They were called out at 3.13pm on 30 July, 2014.
“A two-storey building on the pier measuring around 30 metres by 50 metres was well alight. The building is about 50 metres from the shoreline.
“A large plume of smoke can be seen above Eastbourne.
“Sussex Police and the Coastguard are also in attendance.”
Both Eastbourne Pier and the West Pier were designed by Eugenius Birch. Eastbourne is the pier most close in style to the West Pier.
It also stood in for the Palace Pier in the recent remake of Brighton Rock.
Blackpool North is the oldest Eugenius Birch pier still standing and that was badly damaged in last winter’s storms.