Ramsgate volunteer thanks emergency crews and friends for help after blaze at home

Smoke damage in Leslie's home Photo Erika North

A Ramsgate volunteer whose home was damaged by fire last Sunday (May 8) has thanked emergency crews and staff at the hotel where he is currently staying.

Fire crews were called to Leslie Samm’s home in Station Approach Road at 6.20pm after paper that had fallen behind his sitting room heater caught light.

Two fire engines were sent to the scene, arriving within just two minutes, and crews wearing breathing apparatus used a hose reel jet to extinguish the fire that had spread through the ground floor of the property causing extensive smoke damage.

Leslie, who volunteers at QEQM Hospital and the Royal British Legion in Kingsgate, has had to leave his home while repairs are carried out and is staying at the Royal Harbour Hotel.

Friend Erika North, who met Leslie when her mum was spending her last weeks at the QEQM, said: “I’m sure his many other friends and neighbours across the area will support him through this terrible time.

“He is very positive, and hugely appreciates the community spirit the area has shown. The clean-up continues.”

Leslie, 64, says he is keen to thank all the emergency services “for doing such an amazing job,” the staff at The Royal Harbour Hotel in Ramsgate and his many friends at Bannatyne Gym at Westwood Cross, who have helped him immensely.

Anyone who would like to help can email [email protected]


  1. Oh sorry to hear that Leslie you are one of the kindest genuine person one could wish to meet .Well done to the fire service and hotel let’s hope Leslie can be back home soon.

    • You’re not wrong Bill, I’ve known Les for 30years now, such a lovely guy, always thinking of others. He showed me the damage, so so fortunate he had smoke alarms.

  2. It would be interesting to know what type of heater was being used? Decades ago I was one of a team of consultants carrying out a local authority survey as to why so many council tenants were complaining about damp. The clue came when housing assistants were logging “Rising Damp” in tower blocks!

    The conclusion was the tenants were mainly the elderly, housebound/disabled, young mums, and others on low incomes. These people could not afford to heat their mainly flats, and lived in the lounge, next to the kitchen, although severe damp did occur in bedrooms, close to the bathroom!

    In most cases the tenants could not afford to pay for installed electric heaters, so used paraffin or gas bottle heaters instead, which give off vast quantities of moisture, as do kitchens, and bathrooms! Conclusion, the damp was due to warm moist air condensing on a cold surface! Over the years many Local Authorities installed exterior wall insulation, to try and improve blocks of flats heating, and we all know what happened to that! My guess is history may well repeat itself, and many low income people unable to pay for gas or electricity will resort to paraffin, and gas bottle heaters!

    • Dumpton, apart from your opening sentence, I don’t understand what your post has to do with this article.

      • Isn’t it obvious 10GB, people using paraffin or LPG gas as space heating, can cause fires, Duurh! Also, using these can cause exceptional damp! Duurh! Its not a life style choice, its a necessity for many people who can no longer pay for their gas and electricity, but highly dangerous, especially to health! What we found also was, many people using paraffin or gas to heat their homes, never ventilated the rooms, and they themselves caused damp purely by breathing out warm moist air! People were adverse to opening their windows, to change the air for at least half an hour every day, that will keep damp down a bit at least, and it wiil be healthier! Few older people will do that though, because it will mean re-heating their homes!

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