Kent Fire and Rescue Service was called to a fire in a section of Ramsgate’s Maritime Museum yesterday (November 23) that is believed to have been started deliberately.
Fire crews were called to the Clock House building in the East Crosswall at 4.52pm.
Four fire engines attended and crews wearing breathing apparatus put the fire out using a fog spike and hose reel jets, preventing further fire spread and reducing smoke damage.
Fire crews have commended museum staff for having closed internal doors, which protected other sections of the building.
There were no reported injuries and the fire is believed to have been started deliberately.
Crews finished at the scene at 5.36pm.
A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Kent Police was contacted by Kent Fire and Rescue Service following a fire at a building in Pier Yard, Ramsgate at around 4.50pm on Tuesday 23 November.
“The fire is currently being treated as suspicious and an investigation into the circumstances surrounding it is underway. Anyone with information is urged to call Kent Police on 01843 222289, quoting reference 23-0927.
“You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or by using the online form.”
A spokesperson for The Ramsgate Society, which is hoping to take over the museum site as part of the Levelling Up bid, said: “Yesterday evening there was a fire at the Maritime Museum but fortunately the damage was confined to the container and the main building was unaffected.
“One of the model boats in the container was completely destroyed but most have survived. The full extent of the damage will need to be assessed over the next few days.
“Society Chair, John Walker, reported that the fire brigade were brilliant and thanks to their rapid response the situation was quickly under control.”
The museum is currently operated by the Steam Museum Trust assisted by volunteers from the Ramsgate Society.
It is hoped that The Ramsgate Society may take over the museum site after the group’s viability study for the building was included as part of a successful £19.8 bid for government Levelling Up funding.
First mooted in 2015, but with lease issues standing in the way, the Society’s proposal includes a museum and heritage centre with five gallery areas, a terrace and mechanical interactive exhibits on various historical themes. It would be a combination of renovation and new build,