Upon spotting the flames under the decking, Mr Watson aimed his ‘hose’ at the small fire and put the flames out
Tuesday 31st July | by Cop(ex) | @ES_Humour
Whilst walking along the worlds longest pleasure pier, Thomas Watson noticed small flames rising up from underneath the wooden planks on Southends best-known leisure attraction.
He immediately decided to try and put the fire out, but was some distance away from any portable fire-fighting equipment.
At this point, Mr Watson decided to take matters into his own hands in order to try and stop the fire from spreading.
Southend-on-Sea Council thanked Mr Matthews for his “quick-thinking tinkling” but added that it was confident its own sprinkler system would have worked, as The Sun reported.
Essex Fire & Rescue Service confirmed that it was called to Southend Pier but that no action was needed as the fire had indeed already been put out.
Mr Watson, 22, told reporters from the BBC that the weather had turned and “we were literally the last people there”.
He continued that the fire was “only small on top”, but that he saw thick smoke was coming from underneath the decking and he “thought it was all burning under there”.
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“I looked at it and the wood was proper charring away, like white with an orange glow.
“Using my initiative I decided to empty my bladder.”
His partner called 999 as Mr Watson ‘sprung’ into action but by the time fire crews had arrived the flames were gone.
A Southend Borough Council spokesman told the BBC:
“Whilst we have faith our sprinkler system would have soon sprung into action, we understand the visitor deployed his own sprinkler system to swiftly extinguish the miniature inferno.”
He said the family could come back and visit pier for free, but added: “[We] kindly ask that he keeps his trousers firmly secured on this occasion.”
Southend Pier is a major landmark in Southend-on-Sea.
Extending 1.34 miles into the Thames Estuary, it is the longest pleasure pier in the world.
When the tide is out, the Pier also serves as the launching station for the UK’s busiest coastal RNLI Lifeboat crew.
Clearly, had the Pier of caught light resulting in its closure, then Southend’s volunteer Lifeboat crew would have been hampered in their efforts to deal with any incidents within their area of responsibility in the mouth of the Thames Estuary.
The end of Southend Pier also houses a small seasonal restaurant that is used by Jamie Oliver for his popular cooking show.
Although our informants tell us that Jamie Oliver is yet to invite members of Southend’s RNLI to one of his feasts…
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