Luton man named as prime suspect in fatal New Year blaze which killed three people
Three people killed in a tragic house fire in Kirton on New Year’s Day have been named by police, with one - from Luton - identified as a suspect in the deaths.
Emergency services were been called to a detached house on Peartree Road just before 3am.
Jay Edmunds, aged 27, of Kirton, Billy Hicks, aged 24, of Wyberton and Ashley Martin, aged 32, of Luton died in the blaze.
Two further people were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries following the blaze.
Given the ferocity of the fire, formal identification and post-mortems took several days to be completed.
The family of Jay Edmunds have released a tribute to her which read: “Jay was a vibrant, funny, beautiful, loving daughter and sister.
“We are shocked & horrified by the events that have taken Jay from us. Our hearts are broken.
“Thank you to all our family, friends and local community for their well wishes and support at this devastating time.
“We would also like to thank to all emergency services that have been involved.”
A tribute has also been released by the family of Billy Hicks which read: “Billy had a wonderful smile and would always be the life and soul of the party.
“He was a very caring and loving person with a fantastic sense of humour.
“Our hearts are broken our family is devastated for him to be taken away from us in such a tragic way.
“We would like to thank all those involved.”
Detective Chief Inspector Karl Whiffen from East Midlands Police said: “Given the damage caused to the house by the fire, this has been a complex incident to deal with.
“We can confirm that Ashley Martin would be treated as a suspect in the deaths of Jay Edmunds and Billy Hicks.
“We are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.
“A file will be passed to the coroner.
“However, it is important to note that a coroner’s role is not to apportion guilt or to attribute blame.
“They will determine essential facts about how each person died.
“Since this tragic event Family Liaison Officers have worked with relatives of all three people who died. During this time, families have read some inaccurate reports in the media which they have found deeply upsetting.
“We will be making no further comment until the conclusion of all three inquests.”