East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has confirmed the fire which caused damage to Eastbourne Pier on the afternoon of 31 July was accidental.
Six fire engines were called to attend the blaze, which was linked to ongoing renovation work of the two single-storey pavilions on the pier’s main boardwalk.
“The fire broke out on a trailer between two buildings on the structure,” local reports noted. “According to the fire service, the blaze had been put out prior to their arrival.”
Smoke was spotted emanating from the site of building work at approximately 2pm, with the fire brigade arriving on the scene shortly after. The ESFRS confirmed that “crews damped down and used a thermal imaging camera to check for any hot spots.”
While the pier responded with immediacy to avert an escalation, the scare did prompt a retrospective within local media of the disastrous incident six years ago almost to the day when a fire destroyed the pier’s main arcade and shops. On that occasion, over 80 firefighters were called to attend the scene on 30 July 2014, following what police believed to be a deliberate attack, with the fire taking all night to subdue.
This time, limited damage was done to the pier structure by the most recent fire, with restoration work still underway to improve pier facilities.