Sydney fire victim a ‘special spirit’On 01/31/2019 by admin
The family of young Sydney man Tom Ricketson, who was killed in a nightclub fire in Cambodia, say they will remember him as a “warm and wonderful human being”.
The 32-year-old careworker died in Cambodia’s northwestern tourist hub of Siem Reap overnight.
The blaze broke out at the Hip Hop Club at around 2am as the result of an electrical fault, according to local police.
Mr Ricketson and four Cambodians – three women and a man – died from smoke inhalation, provincial police chief Sort Nady added.
In an emotional statement, the Ricketson family said they would be eternally grateful for knowing Tom, who worked with intellectually handicapped and physically handicapped children in Sydney.
“Our son and brother Tom Ricketson was a warm and wonderful human being who has been taken from us far too soon,” they said on Wednesday.
“Our family now have to walk through life without him at our side but he will be forever in our hearts.”
They said Tom had “fallen in the love” with the Cambodian people during 10 days he spent with impoverished families living in a tip in the capital Phnom Penh.
He had decided to devote the following year to raising funds to provide housing for 20 poor families.
“Our family will now work to ensure that this becomes a reality,” they said.
Tom’s uncle, James Ricketson, had spent time travelling with him in Cambodia.
He confirmed the tragedy on social media, where friends and family have been posting their own tributes.
Mr Ricketson described Tom as a “special spirit” whose “shyness hid a gold mine of generosity”.
“Tom was a sweet, gentle, kind, loving and generous young man,” he added.
An investigation has been launched into the fire, which occurred in the province that is home to Cambodia’s famed Angkor temples.