This live event has finished
- East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were alerted at 15.13 to the fire
- At the height of the blaze 80 firefighters are at the scene
- RNLI crews from Eastbourne, Newhaven and Hastings also aided the fire service
- The blaze believed to have started in wall panelling
- Sussex Police say no-one was trapped by the fire when it broke out
- The fire is not believed to be suspicious at this time
- At 19:47 the fire service said the fire is now being brought under control
- At 20:39 fire investigators arrived at the Eastbourne landmark
That's it for tonight. We'll be back in the morning with more reaction to the fire.
And remember to buy The Argus tomorrow for some fantasic coverage.
Always sad to see a pier on fire #eastbournepier http://t.co/aiJsOuYlSC— @crsison 30 July 2014
A statement from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service say fire investigators are now on site. Firefighters remain at the scene of the Eastbourne Pier fire.
The statement says:
"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."
Well done to all the fire, police, lifeguard and any other crews that helped eastbourne pier today during its fire http://t.co/0ppuwL7iwx— @keilan_scott 30 July 2014
Footage taken of the fire from when the blaze begun.
Great team work @rnli #rnlifamily #EastbournePierFire @bbcsoutheast @EastSussexFRS http://t.co/Vi9sHHdhMo— @NewhavenRNLI 30 July 2014
Absolutely gutted to see those pics of Eastbourne pier. So many good memories. A beautiful seafront gone. Hope it returns soon...— @shaunsimmonds 30 July 2014
Sad end to Eastbourne Pier #Destroyed http://t.co/6jWGFBBsmb— @MeechSteve 30 July 2014
Now back ashore from the eastbourne pier fire !! http://t.co/vFefJgfifg— @crew8hastings 30 July 2014
Heart broken to see Eastbourne pier on fire. My hometown, and a place I spent so much time growing up. So many memories. Feel very sad :(— @MissClareSloane 30 July 2014
Eastbourne pier fire from the sky aboard @British_Airways 567 from Milan to London. http://t.co/AzZq2FLmFF— @CocoPops 30 July 2014
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service say:
"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."
#Eastbournepier #Eastbourne http://t.co/tKSTT1f0PS— @Xedan1985 30 July 2014
Eastbourne pier on fire, I'm so sad, born and raised in that lovely town, and happiest memories of trips to the pier and beach :(— @Nicola_B_W 30 July 2014
Reminiscing over all those golden years spent on Eastbourne pier, pressing pound coin after pound coin into the Daytona machine.— @mangygoats 30 July 2014
Sad news about the huge fire on Eastbourne Pier. We in Brighton & Hove knows how it feels :-(— @jasonkitcat 30 July 2014
Crowds watch as flames are still tackled tonight on Eastbourne Pier http://t.co/M8s38pF2Eh— @Tom_PughPA 30 July 2014
Well I'm at Eastbourne pier and this is as close as I can get. #fire #eastbournepier #pier #PierFire http://t.co/ec99ApI4Mw— @Clarky302 30 July 2014
My boy watching Eastbourne pier on fire :(. So sad http://t.co/fXV3fkML11— @Sussexsaint72 30 July 2014
Eastbourne pier pictured as a hulking mass of charred metal tonight. http://t.co/6PoOWq1eT2— @Tom_PughPA 30 July 2014
Part of Eastbourne pier this afternoon sadly burning down http://t.co/zF7U889gTb— @JenDouglas24 30 July 2014
Alex Askaroff sent us this picture of the pier on fire 5.45pm.
Sue Byson of Eastbourne said: "What am absolute shame.
"The smoke when it first started was terrible and the wind hasn't been helping.
"The police told us the seafront road would be closed all night probably. The people who have parked can't get to their cars. They are being sent away."
Picture from Argus reporter Ben Leo
Tom Foley, who works at the Queens Hotel opposite the pier, said a fresh load of holiday makers were due to arrive in the town this afternoon.
He said: "It's not the welcome they would have wanted."
Lifeboat crew have confirmed that within the last 30 minutes the fire’s progress along the pier has been halted about halfway along.
Off-duty lifeboat coxswain Mark Sawyer said: “About 30 minutes ago the fire was brought under control.
“Fire brigade personnel on an Eastbourne lifeboat were able to stop it spreading and firefighters are now on the seaward side damping down.
“It has been stopped as it slopes down on to the second part of the pier.
“The whole of the arcade room, the blue room has been destroyed.”
A statement from East Sussex Fire and Rescue service:
"The operation to tackle a serious fire at Eastbourne Pier is continuing.
"As of 18.30, 80 firefighters are at the scene and it is expected they will be there for several hours.
"Firefighters are using lifeboats to help tackle the fire from the sea and an aerial platform is being used as a water tower to prevent the fire from spreading on the shore side.
"Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus have been on the Pier and access has been gained from the end of the Pier as efforts continue to stop the fire spreading further along the structure.
"We are working with other emergency services and agencies including Sussex Police, the Coastguard, the RNLI and South East Coast Ambulance.
"Sussex Police are advising members of the public to avoid the area."
I've been to Eastbourne pier so many times as a teenager. Along with the Hastings Pier fire, it's another part of my childhood gone.— @CommuterMartin 30 July 2014
So sad to see the state Eastbourne Pier is in now. So many happy memories there and now it's gone.— @KirkyLife 30 July 2014
Can't believe about Eastbourne pier, I was only there a few hours ago and my hotel was right opposite!! So sad!— @AmyMarieBailey 30 July 2014
Bob Mulvey, 60, of Eastbourne, said:
"It's really upsetting. The heritage of our town is going up in smoke. Our boys have grown up with the pier and we did too. It's a sad day for Eastbourne."
Argus photographer Simon Dack says:
"The smoke is dying down and it’s just white smoke now. The smoke is getting paler and the fire is not a big."
Knowing how sad it was when Brighton's west pier went up in flames I feel for the people of Eastbourne!— @simonhardwick 30 July 2014
sad to see the damage to Eastbourne Pier. At least they've managed to save the structure and hopefully they can swiftly restore it.— @kelvin5385 30 July 2014
Picture from Argus photographer Simon Dack from Beachy Head
Seems to be just a shell left at the front on Eastbourne pier #eastbournepier http://t.co/2TshvUyVNq— @naomi_herron 30 July 2014
This is such a sad day for Eastbourne. 💔— @kilamarie 30 July 2014
really sad to see footage of Eastbourne pier on fire, spent many happy times on this lovely seaside pier : (— @nels3 30 July 2014
So sad to hear about Eastbourne pier. I've been there so many times. I always went to the fish and chip shop on the pier. #eastbournepier— @JaseAlphonso 30 July 2014
Terrible news about Eastbourne pier! It's a shame to lose such an iconic part of the seafront! :(— @Bexierock 30 July 2014
Eye witness from the scene Spencer Mold said: “It seems the fire is working its way back along the pier now.
“The firemen are really working out of their skins trying to keep it under control and what they can save of the pier.
“The smoke is clearing from the arcade and it is just a skeleton.
“There are still flames coming from its floor.”
Spent a lot of my childhood on Eastbourne Pier. Watching it on fire breaks my heart.— @lauren_horton 30 July 2014
Absolutely gutted to see the Eastbourne pier devastated by fire, the pictures are horrible #Eastbourne— @JamesH114 30 July 2014
Eastbourne pier is now in ashes and I literally have so many memories from when I was young :(— @jessring11 30 July 2014
Such a shame.... http://t.co/BVzt80ezHW— @rnliEastbourne 30 July 2014
Police have pushed back cordons on the promenade as loud bangs emanate from #Eastbourne pier.— @Tom_PughPA 30 July 2014
A Dover Coastguard spokesman said RNLI lifeboats had been sent from Eastbourne, Newhaven and Hastings and three coastguard support teams were sent from Eastbourne, Bexhill and Birling Gap.
He said: “We are there to provide support and to help recover anyone who may have fallen into the sea. However there have been no reports of anyone jumping in or needing any help.”
Such a sad sight seeing images of Eastbourne pier on fire 😕 Plenty of good times and childhood memories there— @lauzmarie3 30 July 2014
So sad to hear about Eastbourne Pier. I love Eastbourne. :-(— @LucilleBarclay 30 July 2014
So many happy memories on Eastbourne pier and now it's gone... I'm absolutely gutted— @SamDrain 30 July 2014
First Hastings and now Eastbourne Pier, such a shame. Figure points of our towns and now just a mess #eastbourne— @mcconnell_g 30 July 2014
Eastbourne Pier is on fire..... #eastbourne http://t.co/hT7k0kiMWG— @JesusBoom 30 July 2014
At scene with @rnliEastbourne @Hastingsrnli at #eastbournepierfire. Doing what we can and ensuring safety of public http://t.co/ODmrlaWkLs— @NewhavenRNLI 30 July 2014
Sussex Police say 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.
Sussex Police say 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.
Picture from Argus photographer Sam Stephenson
Picture by Andrew Hale
Very sad day in Eastbourne today can't believe that Eastbourne pier is on fire 😞 #gutted http://t.co/Uxn3NR2qDc— @Suzy_Q32 30 July 2014
A statement from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service says:
"Around 60 firefighters are at the scene, after being called at 15.13 on 30 July 2014.
"They are attacking the fire from the coastal side of the building, from the beach and from underneath the Pier.
"Reasonable progress is being made considering there are high winds.
"We are being assisted by the Coastguard, the RNLI and Sussex Police. South East Coast Ambulance are also in attendance.
"We are not aware of any injuries or casualties."
Eastbourne pier is on fire... http://t.co/gxAOMDtekG— @JonBastable 30 July 2014
Omg Eastbourne pier http://t.co/JD1k3lj8sv— @vicespice 30 July 2014
Argus photographer Simon Dack is on Beachy Head:
"Plume of black feet going, I reckon about 1,000 feet into the sky. It’s taller than the tower blocks on the seafront.
"It’s longer then the pier going up into the sky.
"The town is bathed in beautiful sunshine and the smoke seems to be blowing out to sea and towards Kent and is not blowing back over the town, which is good. There’s a lot of people parking up here and having a look.
"You can’t see any flames now, just this massive plume of black and white smoke billowing into the sky.”
A statement from the RNLI said volunteer crews are helping firefighters tackle a blaze at Eastbourne pier this afternoon.
"Lifeboats from Eastbourne, Hastings and Newhaven have been committed by the RNLI to assist firefighters in any way possible, including taking them afloat to help tackle the blaze.
"Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat the Laurence and Percy Hobbs was launched at 4pm, followed by the charity’s all-weather lifeboat Diamond Jubilee at 4.15pm. Crews from Hastings lifeboat station and Newhaven followed. "
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.”
More #eastbourne #pier fire http://t.co/LT0hNvkKGf— @rncgroupuk 30 July 2014
Sad to see #Eastbourne pier is on fire. We used to play in the arcade there when we were kids, then go for tea at the Grand Hotel. #memories— @daviddjfrancis 30 July 2014
@NewhavenRNLI has now also been launched and is en route to the scene #rnlishout— @Hastingsrnli 30 July 2014
ALB now on scene in #eastbourne #rnlishout #eastbournepier— @Hastingsrnli 30 July 2014
Eastbourne pier on fire xx http://t.co/QVFJEbyqXn— @manutdbabe71 30 July 2014
Eastbourne pier ablaze, the smell of smoke is overpowering http://t.co/ltquZJkC9i— @JenniferMMcGee 30 July 2014
Eastbourne pier more photos http://t.co/b47e9m3HRz— @lnoormohamed 30 July 2014
Stephen Lloyd, MP for Eastbourne, said:
“I was working in my office which is only a couple of 100 yards away from the pier when someone stuck their head around the door and told me our pier was on fire.
“This was about 3.30pm I immediately rushed over and at the time I could see only a limited amount of flames coming from the top of the amusement arcade’s roof. However within 15 minutes the entire roof was covered in flame and obviously the material must have been ver flammable.
“The firefighters and police were immediately on the scene and doing all they could to manage what was turning into a dreadful disaster.
“I spoke quickly to the Chief Inspector who confirmed their latest information that no one had been hurt but obviously that was fairly fluid.
“My earnest hope, which I know is shared by the whole of Eastbourne, is that the fire can be contained to one section of the pier and we do not suffer the dreadful result that happened in Brighton and Hastings where they lost the whole super structure.”
Mark McFadden, Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce, said:
“There is not a lot you can say really, hopefully the damage will be contained to the arcade building and the remaining buildings will survive.
“Obviously this is not what the town needs and although the pier is a very iconic part of Eastbourne there is more to the town than just the pier.
“It is early days but the fire looks very devastating and we saw what happened to Hastings’ Pier and Brighton’s West Pier.”
“Hopefully the damage can be repaired and the pier can be restored.”
Not the first time Eastbourne Pier has caught fire. Last time was in 1970 - theatre at the seaward end went up http://t.co/AOPYGcvP29— @MrTimDunn 30 July 2014
Eastbourne District General Hospital accident and emergency department is aware of the fire but are not expecting any casualties as the pier has been safely evacuated.
More eyewitness account from Ant Miller.
He said: “The front of the pier is now absolutely wrapped in flames, the roof went up.
“There are really hot, violent orange flames.
“You can see the ribs and the skeleton of the building and you can see that it is starting to sag.
“You can see smoke coming up from the boards underneath.
“The firefighters were here really quickly but I think they have decided its just too dangerous and they have moved back.
"You certainly can’t blame them for that, the heat must have been incredible.
“There are a lot of fire engines around which is having a bad impact on traffic with everything being diverted away.”
Rip Eastbourne pier http://t.co/FEtfqrQieh— @chrisknight1706 30 July 2014
David Tutt, leader of the Eastbourne Borough Council, said:
“My first concern is with any people on the pier and I am pleased to say I have not heard of any injuries and that was very much my first concern.
“In terms of the fire itself early reports suggest it was an electrical fire but that will take time to confirm.
“It is tragic to see this sort of fire at one of our Victorian landmarks and we are liasing with the emergency services and will be meeting the owners of the pier in due course.
“As a matter of fact I was on the pier with the owners this time yesterday discussing the summer season.
“It is a landmark and very much part of the seascape and we want to see it back in action.”
Good bye Eastbourne Pier @BBCBreaking http://t.co/KrdycpWy98— @JohnHall1977 30 July 2014
Laura Muresan's pictures of the crowd watching the fire.
Laura Muresan sent us this picture.
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service say:
"Around 60 firefighters are now in attendance and tackling the fire.
"They were called out at 15.13 on 30 July 2014.
"A two storey building on the Pier measuring around 30 metres by 50 metres was well alight. The building is about 50 metres from the shoreline.
"A large plume of smoke can be seen above Eastbourne.
"Sussex Police and the Coastguard are also in attendance."
Eastbourne pier up in smoke. http://t.co/28B2qtNrSu— @jotcooper 30 July 2014
Paul Metcalfe, lifeboat operations manager at Eastbourne RNLI station, said:
“Eastbourne all weather lifeboat launched at 4.10pm and the inshore lifeboat also launched at 4pm.
"I also understand Hastings lifeboat has launched and the pier is on fire and that it is quite a bad fire.
“With the way the wind is blowing its obviously been fanning the flames.
“We are just standing by waiting for fire brigade personnel to arrive at the station. The firefighter will being getting aboard the lifeboat to assess the situation.
“Also we have a drop in tide here which does not help our access to the pier.
“We are on the scene to also help anyone trapped on the pier.”
It seems to be getting worse and spreading - fire tears down #Eastbourne pier @bbcsoutheast @BBCSussex http://t.co/0LUryINnFQ— @Cla_Cottingham 30 July 2014
Ant Milller, 42 from Eastbourne, is watching on from the beach.
He said: “There’s a really ghoulish fascination in watching it, it’s really spectacular.
“It is a real landmark and it is a real shame, it looks like it’s going to be out of commission for a long time.
“It is a real shame that one of the key attractions of Eastbourne has been devastated.”
Should of brought the zoom lenses Eastbourne pier it's really sad something so iconic http://t.co/QpyzAmY0nG— @lnoormohamed 30 July 2014
#Eastbourne pier is on fire - http://t.co/LarFycqo8a— @PaulGoss 30 July 2014
Ant Milller, 42 from Eastbourne, is watching on from the beach.
He said: “The fire has completely taken hold now, the amusement hall at the front of the pier is completely ablaze.
“The fire brigade seem to have pulled back a little and the inshore and offshore lifeboat are both in attendance.
“Bright orange and yellow flames are bursting through the roof.
“The wind is quite strong, it is fanning the flames but blowing them offshore and there’s a column of smoke going way out to sea.
“The structure of the roof has started to collapse in.
“You can feel the heat of the fire from here but I don’t think we are in any danger.”
Eastbourne pier is on fire yet it's all the way over at the train station? http://t.co/37oYqHAviD— @girlsgotaface 30 July 2014
a sad day for #Eastboune as the Eastbourne pier catches fire http://t.co/pqOKo8jHZY— @EBYFC 30 July 2014
Wow, the Eastbourne pier has been on fire for the last 20 minutes. Not a good development. Hope there are no casualties!— @B_White11 30 July 2014
The heat is intense #Eastbourne http://t.co/xnNvjTajCe— @lnoormohamed 30 July 2014
Another #Eastbourne http://t.co/CkJuz2ZRHG— @lnoormohamed 30 July 2014
Eastbourne on fire http://t.co/cypKN3hzWh— @lnoormohamed 30 July 2014
Fire at Eastbourne pier. http://t.co/hE1FvkYZUl— @meeta_1 30 July 2014
Eastbourne pier up in smoke... #eastbourne #fire http://t.co/v3qsafsRss— @LewisBoom 30 July 2014
...it's really going for it now... #Eastbourne #pier #fire http://t.co/ykKXwxoq9R— @LewisBoom 30 July 2014
A spokesman for Hastings Lifeboat said they are in attendance along with the Eastbourne lifeboat in order to rescue anyone trapped on the end of the pier.
He added with Eastbourne Lifeboat they have the capacity to carry 180 people to safety.
Lifeboat on hand at Eastbourne pier fire. #eastbourne http://t.co/Zn2UOc47dm— @meeware 30 July 2014
Disaster! Eastbourne pier catches fire. http://t.co/Ywx2i4CxuN— @pauljwpb 30 July 2014
Sitting on Eastbourne beach and pier is on fire http://t.co/Rs8CKAEqMf— @TheEmmaNent 30 July 2014
Am 200 metres from eastbourne pier Pier on fire— @Armchaireverton 30 July 2014
In a statement, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said:
"We can confirm crews are attending an incident on Eastbourne Pier.
"We were alerted at 15.13 on 30 July 2014 to reports of a small fire - believed to be in wall panelling - in a part of the Pier housing arcade games.
"Due to the nature of the building involved, a number of crews have been sent to the scene, including those from Eastbourne, Uckfield, Pevensey and Hailsham.
"There are no report of injuries. The incident is ongoing."
Eddie Buckland, a retired lifeboat man from Eastbourne, said: “There is a severe fire on the pier and they now have both Hastings and Eastbourne lifeboats launching to go to the scene.”
He added they lifeboats are checking the waters around the pier to rescue anyone who may have jumped.
Fire on Eastbourne Pier. http://t.co/t3fr52HtYP— @David_Ruddle 30 July 2014
Currently watching eastbourne pier burn down...— @pennyrsawyer 30 July 2014
Oh no! Eastbourne pier on fire! #eastbourne http://t.co/y26irCSVGN— @meeware 30 July 2014
Ellie Williams who works at the Pier Hotel directly opposite said: “It is really smoking a good-un.
“There is a hug plume of smoke coming from the top where the amusements are and you can hardly see the rest of the pier.”
Eastbourne pier on fire ! http://t.co/9Ql9S3bMCJ— @Tanci_Dwarf 30 July 2014
A fire has been reported at Eastbourne Pier.