People in Eastbourne today (30th July) have had to witness the Pier turn slowly into a shell as it was consumed by a devastating fire.  As of 18.30 this evening 80 firefighters were at the scene. They were using lifeboats to tackle the blaze from the sea and an aerial platform was used as a water tower to help prevent the fire from spreading on the shore side. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus gained access from the end of the Pier to try to stop the fire spreading further along the structure. Sussex Police, the Coastguard, the RNLI and South East Coast Ambulance were also involved in the operation. Sussex Police are now advising members of the public to avoid the area. Carolyn Heaps, Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure at Eastbourne Borough Council, said:

“Our first concern is for the safety of all those who work on the pier and those who were visiting the pier today.   It is tragic to see this much loved Victorian landmark on fire.   The council is supporting the emergency services as they tackle the fire and in keeping the area around the pier safe.   We will be liaising with the owners of the pier, Cuerden Leisure.”