Kirton house fire: Murder suspect and victims named

Image source, Lincolnshire Police
Image caption,
Billy Hicks and Jay Edmunds perished in the fire in the early hours of New Year's Day

Police have named the man they suspect started a fire in which he and two others died on New Year's Day.

Ashley Martin, 32, from Luton, is believed to have been behind the blaze at a house on Peartree Road in Kirton, Lincolnshire Police said.

The identities of the two others who died have been confirmed by detectives as Billy Hicks, 24, from Wyberton, and Jay Edmunds, 27, from Kirton.

Police said they were "not looking for anyone else".

Officers from the East Midlands Specialist Operations Unit are continuing to investigate and said they would pass their findings to the coroner in due course.

Det Ch Insp Karl Whiffen said: "We can confirm that Ashley Martin would be treated as a suspect in the deaths of Jay Edmunds and Billy Hicks."

Police had treated the deaths as murder, saying there had been a relationship between two of the parties involved and "the incident we believe is as a result of an issue with that relationship".

Image caption,
Officers from the East Midlands Specialist Operations Unit are continuing their investigations

Mr Hicks was described by his family as "a very caring and loving person with a fantastic sense of humour".

Ms Edmund's family said their "hearts are broken", adding: "Jay was a vibrant, funny, beautiful, loving daughter and sister.

"We are shocked and horrified by the events that have taken Jay from us."

Two other women were taken to hospital after the blaze, but have since been discharged.

One of the women was reported to have jumped from an upstairs window while the other was rescued after neighbours smashed a window on the door of the property.

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