Rape arrest father Mark Tennyson-Smith, 37, dies in fireball in Herne Bay
Mark Tennyson-Smith died
after setting his car on fire in Herne Bay
by Ed Targett
A troubled father burned himself alive – just days before
he was due to answer bail on a rape allegation.
Mark Tennyson-Smith doused himself in petrol and died in flames
in Alma Road, Herne Bay.
The 37-year-old – who was arrested before Christmas - drove to
the quiet residential street last Thursday night.
He was understood to be devastated by his arrest and a recent
The horrifying incident stunned neighbours and has left his
The factory worker, of Charles Street, Herne Bay, has been
described by friends as cheeky, loyal and "full of banter".
His sister Nicola Tennyson-Smith, from Ramsgate, said: "He was
lovely, loyal and cheeky. He loved his family and his friends.
"He used to come and see us often, phone regularly and pop down
for a bite to eat. He loved his mum's cakes so whenever she was
cooking he'd come down."
His close friend Chaska Iglesias, 33, of Tennyson Avenue,
Canterbury, said tearfully: "We were really close. He would come
and kip on the sofa.
"I'd talk to him nearly every day. My daughters loved him; we'd
go fishing together. He was just lovely, full of banter – a big
Millwall fan and a bit of a Jack-the-lad, but with a heart of
"I love him with all my heart and can't find the words to
describe what has happened. He told me a few weeks ago 'make the
most of me while you can because I might not be around for very
long', but I never even imagined this could happen."
Kent Police spokesman Adam Westgarth said: "Officers were called
by the fire service to Alma Road, Herne Bay, at 6.30pm on Thursday
to an incident in where a man died as a result of a fire.
"We are treating the death as unexplained and are working with
the fire service to establish the cause of the fire and the
circumstances surrounding the incident."
body was found in a car in Alma Road, Herne Bay
Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Jo Harfleet said: "We
were called at 6.32pm to reports of a car on fire in Alma Road,
"Two fire engines were sent and crews tackled the blaze.
"There has been one confirmed fatality. The cause of the
incident is being investigated by the police and our fire
Friends described Mark as increasingly troubled following his
arrest. He had been due to answer bail last week. He is survived by
a teenage son.
- Click here for more Canterbury news...
- Click here for more news from across the county...