Police called in following suspicious fire in Ramsgate towerblock stairwell

Fire crew at Trove Court on one of the call outsearluier this year Photo Claire Smyth

Police have been called in following a fire at a Ramsgate towerblock.

The fire, thought to be deliberate, was on the stairwell of the 12/13th floors of Trove Court in Newcastle Hill at 6am today (August 29).

In the stairwell

Resident and mum-of-two Claire Smyth says she was put the blaze out before fire crews arrived.

She said: “It was in the stairwell between floors 12 and 13. Myself, my children and dogs started to evacuate the flat but found we couldn’t as the stairwell was full of smoke.

“I made sure my children and dogs were safe in the flat and then put fire out with a bucket of water. The fire brigade were on site by 6.30am.”

A fire service spokesperson said five engines were sent to the scene but no action was necessary.

They said: “Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called to a reports of a small extinguished fire on a handrail in a property on Newcastle Hill at around 6:23am. Five fire engines were sent to the scene and but there was no action by the fire service and the fire was already out on arrival. No casualties were reported and the stop time was 6:42am.

The scene was passed into the care of Kent Police.”

Police officers taped off the area while investigation was carried out.

A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police was called to a report of a fire in the stairwell of a building in Newcastle Hill at around 6.40pm on Thursday 29 August.

“Officers attended the scene to assist Kent Fire and Rescue Service. There were no reported injuries and detectives are treating the fire as suspicious.

“Any witnesses or anyone with information, who hasn’t already spoken to police, should call 01843 222289 quoting reference 29-0235.”

Previous deliberate fires

Crews at Trove Court in January

In January there was a spate of four bin fires and in 2017 a series of deliberately set fires prompted Kent Police to issue an appeal for information on the culprits.

A spokesperson for East Kent Housing, which manages the flats on behalf of Thanet council, said: “We are aware of the incident at Trove Court and relevant visits have been made today.
“The block operates a ‘stay put’ policy in case of fire as there is only one staircase. In the event of fire, Kent Fire and Rescue Service attend, due to the communal fire alarm system, and extinguish the fire whilst residents remain safe in their properties.”
Green Party Thanet councillor Becky Wing says she will be raising the issue of cladding testing and CCTV at Trove Court and Kennedy House and also Harbour Towers.