Fire crews investigate causes of blaze that gutted part of Eastbourne Pier

Up to 20 firefighters were continuing to damp down and reach remaining hotspots on fire-ravaged Eastbourne Pier. Fire chiefs expect to further scale down their efforts on the 144-year-old, Grade II-listed Victorian structure in the next few hours.

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Crowd funding appeal launched to help Eastbourne pier traders

The damaged pier Credit: PA

An Eastbourne resident has launched a crowd funding appeal to help the traders and businesses affected by the fire on the pier.

The money will go towards the Eastbourne Pier Benevolent Fund which will create pop up shops to help keep traders afloat while it's rebuilt.

The benevolent fund has been organised by the Chamber of Commerce, the Eastbourne Hospitality Association, Eastbourne Borough Council and Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd.

Mr Lloyd said: "This is a disaster for us. It is a lovely pier. It was built in 1870. It's heartbreaking, absolutely heartbreaking."

But he said two thirds of the pier remained intact and the structure could be repaired.

The crowd funding appeal has been launched by resident Bruce Salter.

Mr Salter, who has lived in the area for 15 years, described the pier as an "iconic" structure.

Despite the damage the structure can be repaired Credit: PA

The fire broke out on Wednesday behind wood panelling in the arcade building.

Eastbourne Borough Council leader David Tutt has said he understood the fire had been started by an electrical fault, but fire crews have said the cause is unexplained and an investigation will take a number of days.

No-one was injured and the fire is not being treated as suspicious

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