Hastings Pier Fire (1917)
It was believed that a carelessly discarded cigarette at the southern end of the Pavilion started the fire at approximately 2 O'clock on the 15 July 1917. This ignited material in the area and rapidly spread.
The pier staff were unable to extinguish the blaze and summoned the Fire Brigade under the command of Captain Glenister of the Middle Street division. In spite of all their efforts, the firemen were forced to fall back and concentrate their efforts on saving the landward structures of the pier, leaving the Pavilion, which measured 40M by almost 30M to burn itself out and subsequently collapse.
The Pavilion, a workshop and the Tea Room on the southern end of the pier were lost, together with some offices and the Hastings and St Leonards Angling Association lost most of the members' tackle which was stored on the pier. The safe was located under-water by the Pier's high diver (Professor Merton Austin) three days later. In addition to these losses, the Pier's resident troupe, The Aristocrats lost all of their costumes.