Live news stream
Fire fighters are still at the scene of a huge blaze that has destroyed part of Eastbourne pier.
It started this afternoon in a wall in the arcade. But as beachgoers looked on - it wasn't long before a large section was engulfed in flames. From Eastbourne Andy Dickenson sends this.
The Chief Fire Officer of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is praising firefighters and members of other emergency services and agencies for the response to the Eastbourne Pier fire.
As of 10pm, the incident is being scaled down. Around 30 firefighters are expected to stay at the scene overnight.
– Chief Fire Officer Des Prichard
"This has been an extremely challenging incident. Our firefighters have worked very hard in difficult conditions to stop the fire from spreading. Sadly one building on the Pier is now a shell and other smaller buildings have been damaged but the remaining buildings on the pier are being protected. This couldn't have been achieved without the assistance of a number of other organisations, including the police, Coastguard and RNLI. This is obviously an upsetting incident for all those who love this landmark. We are thankful that there are no reported injuries and that firefighting operations continue, to try and ensure we save a large part of this iconic Pier."
An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.
At the height of the incident 80 firefighters were at the scene. They attacked the fire from the shoreline, from the sea using lifeboats and from above using an aerial platform.
A further update will be posted around 7am tomorrow.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service remains at the scene of the Eastbourne Pier fire.
At the height of the incident, 80 firefighters were at the scene.
A water bowser was used to relay water and an aerial platform was used as a water tower to tackle the fire. Firefighters also worked off lifeboats, aiming water at the fire from the sea. Ground monitors were put in place to provide unmanned large firefighting jets of water.
Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus went onto the Pier and underneath the Pier to prevent the spread of the fire. Light portable pumps were used to pump sea water onto the fire.
The Maritime team from Newhaven who worked with lifeboats and Coastguard teams.
Fire investigators are now on site.
This video was taken by Benjamin Hall.
– David Tutt, leader of Eastbourne Borough Council
"It's still alight, but it's contained, it doesn't look like it's going to spread any further down the pier. That is good news, and the really good news is that it doesn't look as if there's been any injury at all. 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. I will be having meetings tomorrow to assess the damage and see how we can move forward from here. We are offering whatever help we can to the owners if there are weddings booked and so on to find new locations so nobody is disappointed."
A serious fire at Eastbourne Pier is now being brought under control.
Crews remain at the scene. They have made entry to the end of the Pier and continue to tackle the incident.
Around 60 firefighters are at the Pier and are expected to remain there for some time.
Really sad to hear about the fire at Eastbourne Pier. I'm fond of piers, they really help make many seaside towns what they are.
– Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt
"It is heart-breaking to see such a wonderful Victorian pier so damaged. 80 firefighters are currently tackling the blaze. Thankfully no one appears to have been hurt. I will be going to Eastbourne as a priority to speak to residents and local leaders and thank all the firefighters for their efforts to limit damage."
An Eastbourne hotelier has told ITV News that seeing uncontrollable flames engulf the arcades on the town's historic pier was "atrocious".
Sajaad Shah of the Savoy Court Hotel recorded footage of the fire services attending to the blaze and describes the scene at the seafront.
Police have meanwhile said the fire is not believed to be suspicious at this time.
A one-way system is being put in place in the area around Eastbourne Pier to assist firefighting vehicles attending the major fire that has broken out on the historic structure.
Police were called to the seafront at 3.15pm on Wednesday (July 30) to assist fire service colleagues with traffic control and the large number of people who were on the seafront at the time or who have turned up to watch.
Police are asking drivers to stay away from the area and to be prepared for diversions or other traffic control measures if they have to use roads locally.
It has been confirmed that the pier was safely and quickly evacuated and there was no-one trapped by the fire when it broke out. The fire is not believed to be suspicious at this time.