Luton man killed in NY house blaze would have faced murder charges if he had lived

An inquest into an horrific house fire which left three people dead has heard a Luton man would have been arrested on suspicion of murder if he had survived the blaze.

At the inquest, opened last week, it was revealed that one of the three found in the gutted house had been stabbed in the heart.

An investigator at the scene after a house fire in Peartree Road, Kirton, near Boston, in Lincolnshire, where police have launched a domestic-related murder investigation after three people were found dead after the New Year's Day fire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 2, 2019. See PA story FIRE House. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire EMN-190301-104039001

An investigator at the scene after a house fire in Peartree Road, Kirton, near Boston, in Lincolnshire, where police have launched a domestic-related murder investigation after three people were found dead after the New Year's Day fire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday January 2, 2019. See PA story FIRE House. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire EMN-190301-104039001

Police were called to the home on Peartree Road, Kirton, in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

The inquest was formally opened at Boston into the deaths of Billy Hicks, 24, from Wyberton, Jay Edmunds, 27, from Kirton, and Ashley Martin, 32, from Luton.

Coroner Paul Smith was told that a post-mortem examination revealed Billy Hicks, 24, from Wyberton, had received a knife wound to his heart.

The hearing was told all three died from smoke inhalation. Billy Hicks was also found to have a stab wound to the heart. Two other women needed hospital treatment after they were pulled out of the house, which was completely destroyed.

Billy Hicks and Jay Edmunds

Billy Hicks and Jay Edmunds

One was rescued from the house by the heroic actions of a nearby neighbour.

Giving evidence, Det Ch Insp Karl Whiffen, said Lincolnshire Police received a call on 1 January about a domestic incident.

They were told during the call that the house was on fire. He said Ashley Martin would have been arrested had he survived.

The hearing was adjourned to a later date.