Fire crews called to Margate after homeless couple’s bedding deliberately set alight

The fire in Marine Drive Photo Aaron Willars

Bedding being used by a homeless couple in Margate was deliberately set alight last night (March 27).

The couple had been staying at the seafront shelter on Marine Drive.

A Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “KFRS was called to Marine Drive, Margate at 6:50pm yesterday to reports of a mattress alight outdoors. Two fire engines attended and crews used a hose reel jet to put the fire out.

“It’s believed to have been started deliberately.”

Photo Aaron Willars

Crews left the scene just after 7pm.

The arson has provoked anger and disgust on social media but also many offers of help.

If you have concerns over someone sleeping on the streets contact:

Porchlight phone helpline 0800 567 7699 or from a mobile on 0300 365 7699.

Drop ins:

Wednesday 9.30am-12pm Margate Gateway
Tuesday 2pm-4pm GAP Baptist Church, Broadstairs

Email: [email protected]


  1. Plenty of help out there. Porchlight and others. Lowest jobless figures ever, highest employment ever. Margate is slowly recovering doesnt need people like this who cant be bothered. The bloke outside Lloyds …WTF come on.
    People come across Europe to find work while lazy Brits blame them for their predicament. No wonder someone got the hump, TDC are useless in dealing with it too.

    • Obviously never been homeless and do hope you never have to experience being so. On sometimes is something which can happen to anyone.
      Yes get a job. Easier said than done with no fixed address unless you are happy to sponcer individual.
      Mental issues can add on the stress of being homeless.
      A marriage breakdown,loss of a job, being evicted from your house.
      It’s seems so easy from a car window with a boot full of shopping.

      These kind people who caught light to the homeless persons possessions I do hope your dinner waiting for you before you snuggled up in bed feeling pleased with yourself. Maybe you could put your deeds on your job CV and see if your get a job as easy as the homeless person.

      Try to help. You never know you might actually find the reward more better for you than kicking a person when they are down.

      • Its shocking how the view of homeless folk is so skewed and untrue. People just assume so much about others and homeless in particular.

  2. The nightshelter’s have been going all winter and don’t finish until the end of March in the milder weather. Churches have been taking it in turn every night to house homeless people in need. They are met by friendly people and given hot drinks and food.
    The council boarded that shelter off last year to stop uneccessary camping there but for some reason didn’t place an eviction order on it this year or board it off knowing there were better facilities available each night and extra money to cater for the homeless.
    Now that shelter will need costly repairs before the season begins!

  3. That shelter is for members of the public to sit and enjoy their surroundings which shouldn’t include drunks, the homeless and general dossers that seem to hang around that area all day every day.
    They sit and intimidate people and frighten them with their shouting, drinking and general volatile behaviour.
    That shelter was blocked up and repainted and repaired not so long ago so why has been taken over yet again by layabouts and I’m not suggesting their homeless either just groups of drunks etc.
    What the hell is going on with our home why aren’t the homeless living in some kind of nightshelter that is being supplied by torch light ? And why are drunks and dossers allowed to sit and abuse our hometown? Why are police not moving them along ..
    Stop ignoring these problem people deal with them .
    Why should we go and sit elsewhere because we’re too afraid of being approached and asked for money to pay for booze.
    It’s all going downhill fast…

  4. I am disgusted at three of the comments left here.
    Its so easy from the comfort of your home to point fingers and display your comfortable disgust, all the while making noises like “The drunks and homeless intimidating people”
    Does that give other people the right to set fire to other peoples belongings?
    Because you see them lesser than the average person because they arnt living their lives how you see fit?
    These ppl are traumatised, that is why they are homeless!
    Then they are ridiculed, shown disgust from most of the public and then put down enough as it is without the need for contempt by others to add to their misery.
    If you have you ever sat down and spoken to them you will realise they are damaged not intimidating.
    Contrary to what you say i found them polite and eager to communicate without intimidation.
    Any amount of living on the streets puts people in a vulnerable state which yes…. can make you cranky.
    Complaining and comparing them to people that come over here from other countries to work is unfair and uncalled for. You cannot judge and neither do you have a right to judge a persons personal situation from affar. Have you been homeless?
    Have you had your bedding burnt on a cold March evening that leaves you nothing?
    I didnt think so…..
    So before you all start pointing fingers and saying they should do this or that….maybe “YOU” should search for your humanity and compassion instead of your contempt.
    Reasources arnt always available. Places are often full. Places also dont take animals which a lot of homeless people have due to comfort and protection.
    Many also have mental health issues……
    If you are lucky enough not to suffer from anything like that then you have no idea what this can be like and no idea what your talking about.
    Theres two sayings that come to mind…
    “Never judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes”
    “The only time you should look down on anyone is when you are helping them up”
    You could all heed a little of from those words.

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