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Skegness Fire *Updated*
Posted By Chris on Friday 17th August 2007 @ 11:29 AM | Filed Under: Nearby Attractions

Skegness Fire *Updated*

The Lucky arcade and The Parade, that comprises four large entertainment bars and a number of concession stalls, were at the very heart of a fire that broke out in Skegness late last night. Throughout the night, more than 100 fire-fighters have been tackling the blaze affecting surrounding arcades, nightclubs and restaurants on The Parade.

The roof of the complex has collapsed making it more difficult for fire-fighters “to get to the very heart of the fire”, said Simon Nash; incident commander for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue. The extent of the fire is so bad that water from local swimming pools had to be utilised as the fire crews own supplies ran low.

Fred Hoyles, secretary of a nearby ex-servicemen’s club, commented "It looks like a bomb has hit the area. There are these bits of brickwork standing on their own and lots of twisted metal. I am very upset. I've lived here for years and it's hard to see the town in this state."

Some fire-fighters have commented that they’ve never seen anything like it. At its height, the fire could be seen approximately 20 miles out to sea. The adjacent Parade hotel is also allegedly badly damaged. Fire crews are expected to be attending the scene for the rest of the day.

Update: Saturday August 18th @ 14:05

The fire forced a 200 metre stretch of property to collapse. Some of the affected buildings were being re-developed whilst others were around 100 years old. "It was a major business venture that the town had embraced. Just two or three weeks ago they had completed the first phase and only earlier this week they were planning a major opening in September on a spectacular scale and all of that has gone,” said Geoff Barry, spokesman for the Bowler Brothers who had been developing the complex.

A number of revellers were in the area at the time of the fire, including 19 year old David Smith who told reporters "I was having a drink with some friends near the parade complex when police and bouncers came in and said we had to evacuate the building. We were told it was a small fire so we weren't really worried about it. But within 20 minutes the flames were sky high. We were all quite shocked. It's really going to affect the nightlife because the parade is such a big part of that. I think the holidaymakers are going to be a bit shocked when they come down.”

Investigations into the fire are at an early stage, but signs are pointing toward the fire being started suspiciously. However, Police haven’t ruled out an accidental cause. Police are keen to speak to anyone who might have seen any suspicious activity in the area around the time that the fire was started. Ch. Supt. Russ Hardy commented "There are a number of possibilities we are investigating and these include the possibility that it is accidental as there are a number of catering establishments in the vicinity. We are also investigating the possibility that the fire was caused deliberately."

Images captured by Island Quest forum member "robbogt".

More images/video of the fire:-
Visit Skegness Forums
BBC In Pictures
Skegness Standard
Skegness Video

Main article image by Scott Dalton via BBC Lincolnshire.

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