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Fire rips through Eastbourne's historic pier

A fire ripped through Eastbourne Pier on Wednesday, destroying one third of the historic structure.

The 144-year-old pier was evacuated at around 3pm after a fire was discovered in a wooden wall panel of an arcade.

Up to 80 firefighters fought the blaze into the night, assisted by RNLI lifeboat crews.

No one was injured and the incident is not being treated as suspicious.

A fire spokeman said the arcade had been destroyed and a number of small buildings were badly damaged.

Initial reports suggest the blaze may have been caused by an electrical fault.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is under way.

The Victorian pier was designed by Eugenius Birch and officially opened in 1870.  

An English Heritage review of the site in 2009 resulted in the pier being upgraded to Grade II*.

A £250,000 redevelopment plan to refurbish the Ocean Suite commenced in May 2010 and was completed in July the same year.

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