United Kingdom

Fire tears through Britain's shortest pier at Burnham-on-Sea

An investigation has been launched after a massive blaze tore through Britain's shortest pier in Burnham-on-Sea.

At least five fire engines rushed to the scene at about 12pm today and crews spent hours tackling the flames which are believed to have started by a wood storage area and a bin on Burnham-on-Sea pier in Somerset.  

Footage shows plumes of smoke billowing at the rear of the historic Pavilion which was built between 1911 and 1914. 

High winds also risked spreading the blaze from the storage area to part of the dome of the pier.

At least five fire engines rushed to the scene at about 12pm today and crews spent hours tackling the flames which are believed to have started by a wood storage area and a bin on Burnham-on-Sea pier in Somerset

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said it sent four engines to the scene, supported by another crew from Avon Fire and Rescue Service. 

An investigation into the cause of the fire, which caused severe damage, has been launched. 

A spokesperson for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue told Somerset Live: 'Fire appliances attended a developed fire on the pier, following multiple calls from members of the public.  

'A request was made for a further 3 appliances, along with the incident command unit.

Footage shows plumes of smoke billowing at the rear of the historic Pavilion which was built between 1911 and 1914

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said it sent four engines to the scene, supported by another crew from Avon Fire and Rescue Service

'The fire involved a single storey building used as an amusement arcade. 4 breathing apparatus, 1 hose reel jet and 2 main jets were in use.

'At 1336 hrs, a further three appliances were requested for breathing apparatus. Also, Avon FRS sent Weston Super Mare with their turntable ladder to support the incident.

'Crews added an additional hose reel jet, fogspike and triple extension ladder to the equipment in use at the scene.

'At 1416 hrs, crews began stripping external flashing to gain access to the fire in the wall cavity, and damp down hot spots.

An investigation into the cause of the fire, which caused severe damage, has been launched

Opened just before World War One, the pier was taken over by new owners in 2017, having been family-owned for nearly 50 years

'Western Power were requested to isolate the electricity. The incident is being scaled down. The cause is undetermined at this time, and investigations continue.' 

Opened just before World War One, the pier was taken over by new owners in 2017, having been family-owned for nearly 50 years.

The road along the beach was closed off while crews dealt with the incident.

The pier, which is the shortest in the UK, is also one of the oldest illuminated ones and was the first concrete structure of its kind in Europe. 

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