Fire took over an abandoned diner at the end of Seal Beach pier in California on early Friday. A large column of smoke covered the place while emergency responders tried to fight the increasing flames. No one was found injured within the location, although a firefighter got hurt and was transported to the local hospital.

The fire started about 7am at the end of the pier in the 900 block of Ocean Avenue in Seal Beach. Emergency responders controlled the situation after an hour of their arrival at the scene, as reported by Los Angeles Times.

Seal Beach Pier Fire
Firefighters contend with a fireball of an explosion as fire rips inside the closed Ruby’s Diner at the end of the Seal Beach Pier

At the pier there were several firefighting boats surrounding the place, along with 70 responders from the Orange County Fire Authority and the Long Beach Fire Department, authorities stated.

A firefighter resulted injured from the situation but not directly hurt or burned by the fire. The man was injured when a blast of water from one of the boats dislocated his shoulder. He was immediately transported to the hospital for medical treatment, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said.

Quick response from California’s firefighters 

Although the fire was controlled almost immediately, a water pipe under the pier failed during the emergency situation. This made more difficult for the firefighters to attack the growing flames, Concialdi commented. In addition, the sea breeze continued to expand the smoke’s reach leaving the nearby area with dense smoke, he added.

The source of the flames remain a mystery but authorities are investigating any possible reason. It is unclear whether the fire started at the restaurant or the pier itself. The place will be closed until the fire department and the engineers inspect the pier’s structure and determine if it is safe to be open to the public.

“There is some involvement to the pier but not too much,” said Capt. Larry Kurtz of the Orange County Fire Authority. “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,” he added.

Not the first pier’s tragedy

The pier has become an icon within the local population with the once open and functioning diner as well, but the place has gone through several fires and natural disasters in the past. In 1939, hurricane winds and huge breakers cut the pier in half while later in 1983 a massive storm waves lifted the place up to 1,140 feet off its pilings.

After the place was reconstructed with local donations, in 1992 and 1994 fire burned the pier and destroyed it once again. The second fire caused at least $350,000 in damage with much more burned wood than the first one.

The pier was constructed in 1906 and it is the longest one in Orange County.

“There is something nostalgic about it,” said Jessica Buck, 37, a local resident. “Especially because Seal Beach just had its centennial,” she added.

Ruby’s Diner, the burned restaurant, had closed in 2013 due to it was declared unsafe to the public and had multiple deficiencies, as reported by Long Beach Press-Telegram. The owners went through some legal issues with the local residents and decided to close after some demands were not met.

Source: Los Angeles Times