The cause of the Weston-Super-Mare fire has been revealed by firefighters as most likely to have been cause by an electrical fault. They ruled out fire but said it was very hard to prove what the cause was as so much evidence was lost to the sea.
Avon Fire and Rescue said after trawling through CCTV footage, taking eye-witness accounts and examining the scene, its investigation was inconclusive.
Deputy chief fire officer Jerry O’Brien said: “Taking into consideration evidence provided by eye witnesses CCTV images, firefighters and a detailed scene examination, the cause of this fire will therefore officially be recorded as unknown he said arson was unlikely as there was “no evidence of forced entry or use of accelerants”.
He added that most likely the cause was “an electrical fault of unknown origin above ground floor level in the north east corner of the Pavilion – where the fire started but the investigation did not provide enough evidence for this to be a conclusive finding.”
“A number of potential causes were identified, meticulously analysed and systematically discounted by forensic experts during the investigation”.
He concluded that “It is therefore considered unlikely the fire was caused by carelessly discarded smoking materials, electrical cooking or heating appliances, self-heating of cooking substances, a gas supply or source of naked flame.”
He also added that the fire service may have had a better chance of defeating the blaze if an alarm triggered at 0135 BST was brought to its attention.s
The pier owners released a statement thanking the firefighters for their hard work.
Co-owner Kerry Michael said: “Michelle and I would like to thank the fire brigade and forensic scientists for all their efforts on the day and for their diligent interrogation into the possible causes of the fire.
“Whilst it has not been possible to confirm the cause with any certainty, it is somewhat reassuring to know that certain things have been ruled out, for example speculation suggesting a kitchen fire have been laid to rest.”