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Fire breaks out at end of Seal Beach Pier

Firefighters contend with a fireball of an explosion as fire rips inside the closed Rubys Diner at the end of the Seal Beach Pier, burned for more than an hour early Friday Morning. Firefighters contend with a fireball of an explosion as fire rips inside the closed RubyÕs Diner at the end of the Seal Beach Pier, burned for more than an hour early Friday Morning.[/caption]Firefighters battled a blaze Friday morning in an abandoned restaurant on the Seal Beach Pier.

The fire was reported shortly before 8 a.m. at the old Ruby’s Restaurant, which is at the end of the approximately 2,000-foot-long pier, authorities said.

Firefighters on the pier and in fire boats poured water on the flames, which engulfed the structure and also burned beneath the pier, authorities said.

Flames were spotted under the pier, with fire extending to the iconic restaurant, said Capt. Larry Kurtz of the Orange County Fire Authority.

At least 70 firefighters and eight fire boats tackled the flames as they swept through the 1950s-themed diner, completely destroying it. By 9 a.m., most of the flames had been extinguished.

There is some involvement to the pier but not too much,” he said .”Pier inspectors will look at the integrity of the wood and determine what repairs need to be made in order for it to be safe to the public again.”

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The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has sent a harbor patrol boat to help fight the blaze from the water, spokesman Lt. Mark Stichter said. The Long Beach and Los Angeles County fire department was also assisting in the firefight.

The Seal Beach Pier has been damaged and destroyed several times over the decades by storms and fire. The pier was damaged in 1983, when huge storm waves cresting beneath the pier lifted 1,140 feet of deck off its pilings. The pier was such a part of the city’s identity that it was rebuilt again with the help of private donations. The new pier was built of wood to preserve its historic look. Fire damaged the pier in 1992 and 1994, but each time it was restored.

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The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

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by Veronica Rocha, Joe Mozingo – latimes.com

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