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Quality of Life

Most of Oceanside Pier to reopen to public Friday, city announces

Two people watch from the shore as fire crews contain a fire on the Oceanside Pier, April 26, 2024.
Carolyne Corelis
Two people watch from the shore as fire crews contain a fire on the Oceanside Pier, April 26, 2024.

The city of Oceanside plans to reopen the majority of the Oceanside Pier on Friday after an intense blaze gutted a vacant restaurant building and a snack shop, it was announced Monday.

Roughly 80% of the iconic seafront landmark should be available for public use once again, reopening from the pier's base to beyond Bait Shop, the restrooms and the fish washing station at the last "offset," officials said.

The fire erupted for unknown reasons on April 25. The city has offered relocation assistance to the owners of the snack shack, The Brine Box, as they face recovery from the loss of the building.


"The damaged far west end of the (pier) will remain closed and fenced off until further notice, as debris removal and reconstruction will soon be underway," a statement from the city said. "We appreciate (the community's) patience and understanding as we work to ensure the pier is safe for all."

Though the cause of the fire remains unknown, federal investigators working in tandem with the Oceanside Fire Department have ruled out arson. Analysis points to an accidental cause of some sort at the northwest corner of end the pier, according to the Oceanside Fire Department.

"There is no evidence of an intentional or incendiary act," a city statement reads. "A comprehensive report detailing the investigation's findings is anticipated in the next few weeks."

Oceanside officials plan to repair the scorched end of the pier and intend to release regular updates, progress reports and opportunities for public comments along the way.

Around 7% of engraved names along the pier's rail — done as a fundraiser in 1988 as part of the city's centennial celebrations — were damaged or destroyed in the fire. The city is evaluating how to replace the names, and the undamaged ones will be documented for archival preservation.


"The city of Oceanside extends profound gratitude to the numerous individuals and organizations whose support proved instrumental in mitigating the fire's impact," the city statement reads. "Sincere thanks go to all of our dedicated partners who played a role in fighting the fire."

During an all-out multi-agency effort that continued for more than 24 hours, crews were able to save much of the 1,950-foot-long wooden structure, according to city officials. Emergency-services personnel from agencies across the county battled the flames from atop the burning pier, aboard a pair of firefighting boats and in water-dropping helicopters. The Coast Guard sent in a cutter to aid in handling the emergency.

Over the course of the around-the-clock firefight, crews put a "trench cut" in the deck, removing a section of it to allow for access to flames burning underneath it and to prevent the blaze from traveling any farther down the pier to the east, the fire chief said.

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