Fire guts British vacation spot landmark

July 28, 2008 at 7:07 AM
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WESTON-SUPER-MARE, England, July 28 (UPI) -- Fire ripped through the historic Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare pavilion Monday, reducing the 104-year-old landmark to ruins, British fire officials said.

Avon fire and rescue officials said six fire engines and 30 firefighters are fighting the fire, believed to have started in the west tower of pavilion, Sky News reported.

A department spokesman said the cause of the blaze was being investigated. No injuries were reported.

Dee Williams, an assistant manager of the nearby Grand Atlantic Hotel, told The Times of London, the scene resembled "an inferno. There will be no pier by tonight."

Weston Mayor Andrew Horler said the fire destroyed the "heartbeat" of Weston.

"I really, really hope it can be rebuilt -- it's pure devastation for this town," Horler said. "It provides jobs and is a massive tourist attraction."

In February, the pier was bought in a multimillion-dollar deal by entrepreneurs Michelle and Kerry Michael, the Times reported. The Michaels sunk hundreds of thousands of dollars to renovate the site, including adding a fun house and go-cart track.

Topics: Dee Williams
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