PHOTO GALLERY: Eastbourne pier on fire

The town turned out to watch in horror as fire consumed Eastbourne’s iconic pier yesterday (Wednesday, July 31).

The blaze, which started behind wooden panelling just after 3pm, rapidly took hold and despite the efforts of 80 firefighters the amusement arcade was left a skeletal husk once the flames had been doused.

Holidaymakers and residents were quickly evacuated from the Victorian structure and there were no reported injuries. Police also evacuated the nearby beaches and sealed off part of the promenade, causing serious tailbacks along Seaside.

Firefighters fought the flames from the pier itself, on the beach and they even took to the sea in lifeboats to desperately try and save the Victorian building – the town’s best-known attraction.

Although they managed to put out the fire some time after 7.30pm, the pier’s owners – and the town – are now left counting the cost of the devastating blaze.

See Friday’s Herald for an eight-page supplement.