Six fire engines and height vehicle at fire in Ramsgate’s old gas works building

Crews at the scene Photo Tanya Clack

Six fire engines and a height vehicle attended a fire at the old gas works site in Ramsgate’s Boundary Road today (July 29).

Emergency services were called to the scene at 4.07pm. The site is being developed by Thanet-based Blueberry Development Estates to create 58 flats in three new build blocks and 15 in a conversion of the listed gas works office.

A Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Kent Fire and Rescue Service is responding to a fire in a derelict building in Boundary Road, Ramsgate.

“Six fire engines and a height vehicle have been sent to the scene, and crews wearing breathing apparatus are using hose reel jets, main jets, and water from a hydrant to put the fire out.  Kent Police is also in attendance.

“There are no reported injuries.”

People living around the area close to Boundary Road were asked to close windows and doors due to the large amount of smoke in the area.

Motorists were advised to take alternative routes due to the incident and road closures around the emergency response.

A Kent Police spokesperson added: “Kent Police was called by Kent Fire and Rescue Service at 4.30pm to a fire at a building in Boundary Road, Ramsgate. Officers attended the scene and closed a road near the premises, while fire crews extinguished the blaze.”

Fire crews finished at the scene at 6.44pm.

The gasworks were built in 1824 and had six gasholders. Originally it was on the other side of Boundary Road, then operated on both sides before being completely moved to the site were the red brick office and clock still stands.

It was taken on by the Local Board in 1877. The local Board and later Ramsgate Corporation ran the site until 1949.

On nationalisation in 1949 the undertaking became part of the Thanet Group of the Kent County Division of SEGB. Gas manufacture ceased at Ramsgate works in 1958 and the site became a holder station.

The offices, railed area, depot, adjoining walls and gate for the gasworks in Boundary Road are grade II listed.

The gas office and depot site in Boundary Road Photo from archives of Mike Nichols

During World War One, in November 1917, two bombs hit the gas works, falling between the gas holders and the rear of the office.

The site was bombed again during World War Two, in August 1940, when eight members of staff were lucky enough to survive after taking refuge in an Anderson shelter at the rear of the offices.

23 Comments

    • The Isle has a load of developers sniffing around who do not like listed statuses affecting their HMO plans. It is much easier to pull down and rebuild an old building that requires structural work, than to do that structural work.

      The Isle also has a generation of feral’s who seem to be of the opinion that actions have no consequences. Schools have broken up and reports on social media claim to have seen kids entering before the smoke and leaving shortly after.

      Which of these this one falls into is up for debate but pretty sure it falls into one of them.

  1. that old chestnut again ,its been the same old story around thanet for years now , they should be made to restore that building to exactly as it was back in the day .

  2. It may be time to reevaluate the baseing of A hight appliance back to Ramsgate the number of times one has to come from where ever one is available to Thanet. maybe cost effective?? but worth asking KF&R BEARING IN MIND THE AMOUNT OF NEW BUILDJNG GOING ON

    • I thought there was one at Ramsgate. When did it leave ?

      I assume the next one is at Canterbury – a bit of a trek in an emergency . . .

  3. Lets hope the damage is not too bad to the listed building. There certainly have been far fewer fires over the last decade, as there have nationally?

  4. I called in this fire at 4.07pm on my way to ALDI. There was only a small amount of smoke coming across Boundary road at that point. Hope there were no casualties.

  5. Crumbs….Thanet must hold the record in the country for fires starting in old buildings under going renovation!!!!

    Is that so they can demolish it and replace it with a modern monstrosity with more flats…..?!!! Same old, same old games…!

  6. The schools have broken up ?? Whatever caused the fire the builder needs to get on with job they were given planning permission for it’s been standing neglected for far too long.

  7. What a cynical bunch of commentators. I hope the flats in the gasworks building get built soon. The ex-gasworks site is just the sort of place where new homes should be built- close to the town centre and convenient for bus users.

  8. It was a magnificent building. I see that the lovely front doors have been lost, presumably after the original doors were broken open to gain entry for the fire Brigade. Let’s hope those can be replaced by something matching what was originally there. I also hope that the clock will be restored and left working as part of the building’s renovation.

  9. The building is part of our local heritage ,you would be hard pushed to find another as good ! Going by Modern architecture I would rather keep this building intact for future generation’s to preserve. If it was set on fire, that would be Arsen Worthy of a police investigation.

  10. It’s no surprise really. Building works occasion many more opportunities for things to go wrong. Think Notre Dame church in Paris. Even on a national historical monument with the best of the best, things can go wrong. That’s why insurances for building works are always so expensive. It’s a well-known issue for any Heritage project. I think Thanet has massively improved due to all the regeneration. People have short and selective memories of how bad it got 10-20 years ago. Who would wish for it to stay that way?

    • sorry with due respects , This Buidling has caught fire under suspicious circumstance’s, what you are implying is the builders were possibly responsible ? I don’t think builders spend time thinking of ways to burn down a classic building do you? They already had permissions to upgrade the interiors, There was no issue . Someone or some human has done this to a very nice historical building in Ramsgate , I think the police should find them and make a charge that sticks.

      • I don’t think people should assume that this was arson. Nor do I think that Phil is implying that the builders were responsible for this fire – I think she is pointing out that when something is being built or renovated, there is more chance of fire than there is in a completed building whose fittings, electricity etc have been completely installed and inspected.

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