Fire destroys historic pier

A HUGE blaze has destroyed one of Britain's historic seaside piers.

A HUGE blaze has destroyed one of Britain's historic seaside piers.

The fire ravaged the 104 year-old partly wooden Grand Pier at Weston-Super-Mare in Somerset.

Avon Fire and Rescue said six fire engines and 30 firefighters were called to the scene.

Firefighters fought to tackle the flames but they quickly took hold of the partly-wooden structure and within a couple of hours the main pier building was completely wrecked.

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There were no reports of any injuries. An investigation into the cause will now be carried out.

The fire started just before 7am in the west tower of the pier, which opened in 1904.

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Deep fat fryers were found in the area where the fire is though to have started, but it has not been established if they sparked the blaze.

Andrew Horler, mayor of the seaside town, said the fire had destroyed the "heartbeat'' of Weston.

He told Sky News: “I really, really hope it can be rebuilt - it's pure devastation for the town. It provides jobs and and is a massive tourist attraction. I really hope someone is able to rebuild it.

“It is the very heartbeat of this town. And now it's destroyed.”

The pier was recently bought in a multimillion-pound deal by entrepreneurs Michelle and Kerry Michael.

The Michael family had already spent hundreds of thousands of pounds as part of a regeneration of the site, including a new funfair and the go-kart track.

The new owners also planned to open restaurants and offer Victorian-style shows.

Relatives of Mr Michael said he left the country yesterday for a holiday in Spain. It is thought he will return to the UK as soon as possible.

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