Prime Minister David Cameron visited the Eastbourne pier fire scene on Friday morning promising £2 million to help with the disaster as police revealed the blaze was being treated as suspicious.
The PM was joined by Chancellor George Osborne and after surveying the damage at the seafront landmark, went to the lifeboat and fire stations where they met members of the emergency services who battled flames when fire broke out in the pier’s Blue Room shortly after 3pm on Wednesday.
Mr Cameron said the cash would help the town’s tourist economy and traders who had independent shops on pier who have lost their livelihoods.
He also praised the efforts of the emergency services who worked through the night to stop the fire spreading the whole length of the 140-year-old building.
A temporary scaffold platform has been erected on parts of the fire damaged structure and security guards are at the scene 24 hours a day as the building is still unsafe. A team of detectives and forensic officers is sifting through photographs, videos and information sent by members of the public.
Detective Inspector Mark O’Brien said, “As a result of our investigation we’ve received information to suggest the fire may have been started by someone, either deliberately or accidently, and we are focusing on that line of enquiry. Information for Operation Barsham can be sent to pier.fire@sus sex.pnn.police.uk