Ruby’s Diner fire spreading to Seal Beach Pier – Long Beach Press Telegram



Firefighters battle the blaze that broke out in an abandoned Ruby’s Diner Friday, May 20, 2016, on the Seal Beach Pier. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen/Orange County Register)

Firefighters battle the blaze that broke out in an abandoned Ruby’s Diner Friday, May 20, 2016, on the Seal Beach Pier. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen/Orange County Register)





SEAL BEACH — Black smoke filled the sky and flames burned bright orange Friday morning as a fire inside the closed Ruby’s Diner at the end of the Seal Beach Pier, burned for more than an hour, which also spread below the pier itself.

• PHOTOS: Blaze erupts at abandoned Ruby’s Diner on Seal Beach Pier

A fire started around 7:35 a.m. inside the restaurant, and firefighters were pumping water through standpipes at the end of the pier to try to contain the fire inside the restaurant, but it spread below the pier, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said.



“The fire is intensifying,” Concialdi said just before 8 a.m. “The restaurant was vacant.”

The flames below the pier were “well-involved” 15 minutes later and continued to burn.

Four fire boats from Long Beach Fire Department, three from Los Angeles County and one Orange County Sheriff’s Department fire boat, responded to assist the fire attack from the ocean.

About 55 firefighters from OCFA, Long Beach and Huntington Beach fire departments responded.

It’s unclear what started the fire, but the north side of the restaurant was in flames.



Officials were working on intensifying the water pressure to the end of the pier around 8:15 a.m. by pumping water to two additional standpipe lines.

A firefighter was injured while battling the blaze and was receiving medical care at 8:30 a.m.

Ruby’s Diner closed in January 2013, and the building has been vacant since.

A fire badly burned the pier May 15, 1992, after electrical wiring shorted under the wooden planks.

The Seal Beach Pier is the second longest wooden pier in California, according to the Seal Beach city’s website.



Robert Christiansen, 61 of Anaheim, was sitting on his beach chair facing the ocean when he spotted the smoke.

“I thought ‘Maybe they’re doing some sort of control clean up fire; I hope it’s not what I think it is,” he said.

But then he saw the smoke building up, and emergency crews began arriving.

Firefighters told the fisherman and pedestrians on the pier to vacate as the smoke continued to build.

“It’s pretty serious; hopefully they’ll get it under control,” Christiansen said.




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