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Saturday, 22 January, 2000, 16:59 GMT
Club reopens after fire

Eastbourne Eastbourne: Popular resort


A nightclub where more than 100 people were evacuated after a fire is expected to reopen on Saturday night.

The Atlantis club, on the pier in the south coast resort of Eastbourne, was cleared when a neon sign above the entrance to a bar caught fire.

Some 25 firefighters were called in to tackle the blaze, which spread to a wooden facade on the Victorian structure.

The club, which is covered by a landmark dome, was emptied as security staff launched an evacuation procedure.

'Could have been worse'

Ambulances were called to the scene, but there were no injuries.

The fire, which began at 2215GMT, was brought under control 45 minutes later.

Assistant Divisional Officer Frank Davis, district fire safety officer for Eastbourne and Hastings, said: "It could have been much, much worse. There is a lot of wood out there, and because it is so exposed it could have spread very quickly.

"However, the pier's evacuation operation worked perfectly and everyone in the nightclub was out quickly."

Eastbourne pier is renowned for its annual National Birdman Championships held every August.

Crowds flock to see people in fancy dress running off the end of the pier and attempting to fly using home-made contraptions.

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