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Monday, 20 May, 2002, 08:57 GMT 09:57 UK
Pier fire costs 1.5m
Damged pier
The fire destroyed an amusement arcade and cafe
A fire which hit Hunstanton pier in Norfolk is estimated to have caused 1.5m damage.

The wreckage of an amusement arcade and cafe are to be removed, and the remains of the pier will be taken down.

Specialist contractors spent Sunday removing asbestos, which had been used to roof the building.

Pieces of asbestos roofing were cleared from the beach and promenade.

Building destroyed

Sixty firefighters from Norfolk and Lincolnshire were called to the seaside town at 0520 BST on Saturday.

The fire destroyed a three-story building at the entrance to the pier, containing a cafe, amusement arcade and play area.

Nothing was left of the inside of the buildings.

The steel structure was left twisted and cracked.

'Not safe'

Leading firefighter John Linder said: "The whole building was totally destroyed by fire.

"The cause may never be established due to the state of the building.

"And it is not safe enough to put anyone in there to carry out an investigation.

"But we are not treating the fire as suspicious."

Demolition work on the buildings and pier was due to start on Monday.

Tony Bowman of the owner, CHS Amusements said he was devastated by the fire, as the summer season was about the start.

Swept away

But he and local tourism officials are already discussing rebuilding on the site.

Hunstanton pier has been badly damaged before.

In 1939 a fire destroyed the Pier Pavilion. In the 1950s the pier was damaged again by fire.

And in 1978 severe weather swept much of the structure away.

The remaining pier now extends just 15 feet beyond the building destroyed by fire.


Click here to go to Norfolk
See also:

01 Apr 02 | England
23 Nov 01 | England
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