UK police say fire that gutted landmark seaside pier may have been started deliberately

LONDON – British police say a fire that gutted a landmark seaside pier in southern England may have been started deliberately.

Sussex Police said Friday that they were treating the blaze at the 144-year-old Eastbourne Pier as suspicious.

No one was injured in Wednesday’s fire, which destroyed about a third of the 1,000 foot-long (300 metre-long) structure.

Prime Minister David Cameron visited Eastbourne, 70 miles (110 kilometres) south of London, on Friday and promised 2 million pounds ($3.4 million) to help the local tourist economy. He said the owners of the pier were determined to rebuild it.

Dozens of pleasure piers are dotted along the English coast, offering entertainment venues, fast-food outlets and amusement arcades.