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

People watch the smoke rise up from the pier at Eastbourne, England, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. A fire on the pier sent thick plumes of black smoke into the air has engulfed the historic Eastbourne Pier on the English seafront, 70 miles southeast of London. The East Sussex fire service responded with roughly 60 firefighters Wednesday as beachgoers watched in horror. The amusement arcade on part of the Eastbourne pier caught fire earlier on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

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People watch the smoke rise up from the pier at Eastbourne, England, Wednesday, July 30, 2014. A fire on the pier sent thick plumes of black smoke into the air has engulfed the historic Eastbourne Pier on the English seafront, 70 miles southeast of London. The East Sussex fire service responded with roughly 60 firefighters Wednesday as beachgoers watched in horror. The amusement arcade on part of the Eastbourne pier caught fire earlier on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

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.

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