There has been a major change to the coastline of south west England. The historic Grand Pier in Weston-Super-Mare has gone up in flames.
The heat was so intense heat that, initially, firecrews could get no closer than about 60 metres.
Owned by Michelle and Kerry Michael, the Grand Pier had only recently re-opened after extensive refurbishment.
One bystander said: “It will be a disaster for the Michaels, I think. Because they had just taken it over, and it was their first summer season. It is an extremely busy place here, usually.”
Another added: “I was just completely devastated because it is the one thing you think about, when you think of Weston, you think of the Grand Pier. It is just so traumatic to see, such a great monument now actually reduced to rubble really.”
The one consolation was that there were no reports of any injuries.
Completed in 1904, it was one of the last great British piers built to entertain the country’s seaside holidaymakers.
In its heyday, the end-of the-pier pavilion housed a theatre which could seat 2,000.