Seal Beach is Burning

Abandoned Seal Beach Pier Ruby's erupts in flames

The old Ruby’s Diner on the Seal Beach Pier caught fire Friday morning around 7:30 a.m. Flames were reported under the pier and stretching out to the abandoned iconic restaurant.

For most of the morning, eight fire boats and more than 70 firefighters doused the restaurant, getting the flames under control by mid-morning. Some damage to the pier has been reported, though it doesn’t seem to be severe. The old Ruby’s, however, is toast.

“There is some involvement to the pier but not too much,” Capt. Larry Kurtz of the Orange County Fire Authority told the Los Angeles Times. “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.”

Seal Beach Pier has a long and storied place in surfing history, and this isn’t the first time the iconic Southern California structure’s taken a blow: A huge swell lifted nearly 1,200 feet of the pier’s deck off in 1983. Fires broke out on the pier in 1992 and 1994. The 1992 fire was caused by two fisherman using a makeshift coal-fire hibachi grill; hot coals apparently fell through cracks in the pier’s wooden boardwalk and landed on a plastic gas line, which ignited. The 1994 fire, caused by bad wires, trapped more than 142 people on the pier, and caused more than $350,000 in damages. On both occasions the pier was repaired.

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