Mumbles Pier, Swansea, damaged by fire

Damage was confined to the wooden decking area of the pier

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The owners of a Victorian pier undergoing renovation say fire will always be a potential hazard, after crews tackled a blaze overnight.

Emergency services were called to Mumbles pier, Swansea, at around 01:20 BST on Saturday.

Police say the fire may have been caused by a spark from a blowtorch.

John Bollom, the managing director of Mumbles pier, said damage was confined to the wooden decking area, and that the main structure was fine.

He told BBC Radio Wales: "The fire was contained to the pierhead, the wide bit at the end where they had been working on a new boathouse for the RNLI.

"The idea was to work back along the pier, in terms of refurbishment, so fortunately it wasn't in any area that was already done up."

Although fire officers would not comment on the possible cause, Mr Bollom said police told him a spark from blowtorch work may have been to blame.

"With the old timber that's there, things can be left smouldering without really realising it and it's not until later on, and the wind whips up and what have you, that these things come to life," he said.

Fire 'threat'

"We will need to know what happened and why it happened, primarily to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"But we're very lucky nobody was on the pier when it started, nobody was hurt.

"Fire is the biggest enemy of piers.

"The majority of the piers that have been lost in the UK are due to fire and it's something we are always very conscious of."

Firefighters at the lifeboat slipway The Mumbles all-weather RNLI lifeboat (seen right) was launched with a firefighter on board

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said four fire crews dealt with the fire.

They put a portable pump on the slipway of the Mumbles RNLI lifeboat station to use sea water to help put out the blaze in just over an hour, although crews remained at the scene dampening down for several hours.

The Mumbles RNLI all-weather lifeboat was launched with a firefighter on board to he could assess the underside of the pier, while the RNLI inshore lifeboat was moved for safety reasons as firefighters pulled up pier decking.

The fire service's head of Swansea command, Richard Webborn, said: "We are very grateful for the assistance given to us by the crew of the Mumbles lifeboat at this incident.

"As fires go it wasn't that much of a serious fire, but logistically, obviously when you're operating over 200m from the shore it did potentially pose us some problems."

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