Southend's Alexandra Yacht Club destroyed by fire

Alexandra Yacht Club, Southend, Essex on fire Image copyright Kyle Marlon Aldridge
Image caption Residents gathered to watch the fire, which lit up the sky

A derelict yacht club on the seafront at Southend-on-Sea has been completely destroyed during a fire, Essex fire service has confirmed.

Crews were called to Alexandra Yacht Club, Clifftown Parade, just before midnight on Saturday.

Incident Commander Steve Parker said the building was "100% well alight" when they arrived and 30 firefighters tackled the blaze.

The cause of the fire is unknown and an investigation is under way.

Image copyright Chris Jones
Image caption Five crews and an aerial ladder were used to fight the fire
Image copyright Chris Jones
Image caption Alexandra Yacht Club was founded in 1873 and the building bought for use as a clubhouse eleven years' later

The fire was put out by 01:43 BST.

Mr Parker said: "It has been derelict for some time, so we didn't commit any crews into the building - we did fight the fire from Clifftown Parade using an aerial ladder as a water tower.

"[The building] is no longer there. It was a wooden structure and it's pretty much burnt down apart from the chimneys now."

Image copyright Kyle Marlon Aldridge
Image caption The wooden building was considered too dangerous for firefighters to try to enter
Image copyright Chris Jones
Image caption It is the second time the club has been hit by fire - the previous occasion was in 1972

In November, Alexandra Yacht Club temporarily relocated, following a report which showed the building, which is more than 100 years old, had structural problems.

The clubhouse was due to be demolished.

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