31 Jul 2014

Fire rips through Eastbourne Pier

12:27 pm on 31 July 2014

A devastating fire has torn through the famous Eastbourne Pier in southern England.

The main roof of the pier, built in the Sussex seaside town about 140 years ago, has been completely destroyed, leaving only a metal skeleton, the BBC reports.

The fire-damaged Eastbourne Pier, in England.

The fire-damaged Eastbourne Pier, in England. Photo: REUTERS

No one was injured, and the police said it was not thought to be suspicious.

The pier was built in the 1870s and, according to the Piers Society, previously had a theatre and a "camera obscura" built on it.

It has featured in films and television programmes, including the Michael Caine movie Last Orders.

Eastbourne Borough Council leader David Tutt said he was hopeful the pier could be repaired and understood the fire had been started by an electrical fault.

"The emergency services have done a fantastic job," he said.

"The fact that as far as we're aware that nobody's hurt - we're not aware of anybody unaccounted for - they evacuated the site very quickly and they've managed to contain it to that front dome so there's hope of getting the pier restored.

"The building which has been affected is the largest dome on the pier, and it has been badly damaged - but further down it looks as it's always looked."

The blaze broke out behind some wood panelling in the arcade building, and billowing smoke filled the air.