Devastated friends have paid tribute to a ‘wonderful man’ and ‘true gent’ who sadly died following a flat fire in Ramsgate yesterday (April 18).
Richard Brown, 71, was in his Albion Hill flat when a fire broke out during the early hours of Sunday morning.
Thirty firefighters tackled the fire above Mr Simms sweet shop after being called at 3.03am.
Richard was a much-loved member of the Belgian Bar/Green Tara family and a long-time friend of owner Andy Barrett.
Andy said: “We loved him so much and will be totally lost without him. He was the whole place (Green Tara) really, it was all about him.
“He was a wonderful man and so full of generosity, he would help everybody from all walks of life. When you first met him he would have such a great impact and was a huge man in his own right.
“This is a huge loss for us and for Ramsgate, so many people knew Richard.
“He was just a wonderful, interesting guy who really cared about people, everybody he met had their lives touched by him.”
A fundraiser has been launched by close friends to raise money for Richard’s funeral as he had no blood relatives.
Writing on the fundraising page, organiser Macy Hibbert says: “Richard was a wonderful friend who touched the lives of so many people. Words don’t describe what an amazing, caring and loving person he was.
“He was a true gentleman who would do anything for anyone. He was so truly loved by those around him, and he will be extremely missed. We would like for everybody to celebrate the great life he had, by having a toast of Whisky in his memory.
“We are all devastated by Richard’s passing, and due to the sudden loss, we were not prepared for the cost of a funeral service.
“We want to give Richard the memorial he deserves, to honour his memory and say our last goodbyes.”
A target of at least £4,000 has been set to cover basic costs but it is hoped more can be raised.