A man is to appear in court charged with arson in connection with the blaze at Margate’s GB Pizza in the early hours of Sunday morning (October 9).
Kent Police was called to the restaurant in Marine Drive in the town shortly after 4am on Sunday.
Kent Fire and Rescue Service had three crews in attendance and extinguished the fire.
Andrew Miller, 48 years-old, of Eaton Road, Margate, was arrested and today (October 10) he was charged with one count of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.
He was remanded and will appear at Folkestone Magistrates’ Court today.
The award-winning pizza restaurant, which has only just been refurbished and marks 10 years in business this month, has been operating since 2012 and was founded by Lisa Richards and her partner Rachel Seed. Sadly, Rachel passed away in 2018.
The devasted team has posted to facebook to say there is a “Herculean” amount of work to now do but thanked Margate for a swell of support.
The post says: “How is it possible to feel so heartbroken, and yet, at the same time, feel like your heart is full? We woke to devastating news about an arson attack at our premises (yesterday) morning.
“Thank goodness no-one was hurt. Not that the a****le who did this cared about that. So mindless. So stupid. So pointless.
“The police and fire services have been bloody brilliant and supportive and kind and have even made us laugh.
“As soon as the news got out into the Margate and Thanet ether, we were beautifully swamped with messages of love and support. Customers – who we now call friends – turned up with rubber gloves and cleaning spray; our neighbours offered us shelter, their loo, drinks and food; cups of tea arrived, as if by magic; hugs were given out with wonderful abandon.
“We will ignore the idiots who made stupid comments about the fire’s cause. It’s very sad that people jump to irrational conclusions before thinking about the human impact of a tragedy.
“Thank you, Margate, for showing us your love on such a dark day. It’s pretty bad inside. There’s a Herculean amount of work to be done – here’s hoping the insurance company is as helpful and supportive as you lot. But we will be back. With big old bells on.”