Seal Beach Pier, former site of a diner, reopened nearly a month after a fire sparked by an electrical problem gutted the vacant building at the end of the wooden structure.
Orange County fire officials said this week that the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction in a nearby bait shack that had been closed for a decade but still had power. The pier, which was closed after the fire on May 20, was reopened Tuesday when a worker opened the gate and allowed pedestrians onto the wooden-plank walkway.
Repairs to the damaged section are expected to take up to a year. About 8,000 square feet of the damaged section needs to be rebuilt. Demolition will begin in two weeks and should be completed in five weeks.
During demolition and repairs, the pier will occasionally be closed to the public for safety concerns. The city planned to post updates on its web site.
Dozens of firefighters in boats and atop the pier fought the blaze, which left a former Ruby's Diner at the end of the pier in ruins.
"It was comforting to us to know that the fire was accidental and not arson," Cruz said.
Ruby's Diner closed in 2013. The pier dates to the early 1900s and was rebuilt in the 1980s.