Owners hope to have Blackpool's Central pier open early this week following fire

The owner of Blackpool's fire-hit Central Pier said he hoped it could be reopened to the public early this week.

By Tim Gavell
Monday, 20th July 2020, 10:46 am
Updated Monday, 20th July 2020, 11:04 am

Peter Sedgwick, who owns all three of Blackpool's historic piers, said that there has been no damage to the structure of the pier and, following replacement of some of the decking, it would be safe for people to visit once more.

Mr Sedgwick said at the time that his family were devastated by the news of the fire but grateful that no-one was hurt. He thanked Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service members for their efforts in controlling the blaze.

He said today: "We have a meeting, but we are hoping to be open again on Tuesday. The structure of the pier was not damaged. We just lost some decking which we are replacing. So it is perfectly safe for the public."

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The damage done to the waltzers ride and workshop on Central Pier

Staff from the pier company were due to meet health and safety experts, Lancashire Fire and Rescue officials and loss adjusters on Monday to confirm when the pier, built in 1868 and 339m long, can reopen.

Once the fire area has been cordoned off with hoardings and the utilities reconnected for the pier, visitors will be allowed back on as soon as safety officials give the go-ahead.

The fire broke out in a workshop area and fire crews from Blackpool, South Shore and Bispham were called out at 3.19am on Friday.

The alarm was initially raised by a security guard.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue crews tackling the blaze in the early hours of Friday

When the fire crews arrived the fire had spread to a nearby waltzer ride half way along the Victorian pier and they called for extra assistance.

At the fire's peak, between 50 and 60 firefighters had been battling the blaze, and a total of ten engines and the aerial ladder platform were mobilised.

Blackpool Council was informed as the fire was ongoing and had its emergency planning officer on standby.

A spokesman said: "At 9am a number of council officers including a council director attended a multi-agency meeting with Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and the site owners and managers.

Fire damage at Central Pier

"Our building control officer did an initial assessment of the condition of the structure of the pier and the meeting agreed a safe system of protecting the public. The Pier owners agreed to this work with support of, and the provision of some equipment from the council.

"We will have further involvement as the position unfolds but as with any case we would do whatever we reasonably can to help."