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Village leaders describe Kirton as 'shocked, subdued and amazed' after house fire on New Year's day claims three lives




Kirton has been described as a “shocked, subdued and amazed” village after a fatal fire which claimed three lives on New Year’s Day.

Police are treating the “ferocious” blaze at a house in Pear Tree Road, Kirton, as a “domestic-related murder investigation”.

Although those who died have yet to be formally identified, various media reports have named two of the victims as Billy Hicks (24) and Jay Edmunds (27).

Two people injured in the fire were taken to Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital for treatment but have since been discharged.

FATAL FIRE: The burnt-out remains of a house in Pear Tree Road, Kirton, where three people died and two people were injured on New Year’s Day. Photo: SG-020119-007TW.
FATAL FIRE: The burnt-out remains of a house in Pear Tree Road, Kirton, where three people died and two people were injured on New Year’s Day. Photo: SG-020119-007TW.

Coun David Danby, chairman of Kirton Parish Council, said: “Me and my partner live about 150m-200m away from the house so we saw the whole thing unfold.

BLAZE TRAGEDY: The entrance to Pear Tree Road, Kirton, where police are still working at the scene of a fatal house fire on January 1. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG-020119-001TW.
BLAZE TRAGEDY: The entrance to Pear Tree Road, Kirton, where police are still working at the scene of a fatal house fire on January 1. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG-020119-001TW.

“We were just amazed by the ferocity of the fire because it was small when it started at about 3.10am.

“But by 4.10am, the top floor and the roof had gone.

“The police have been present here ever since, sifting through evidence and having the gable points and top floor of the house removed.

“On Tuesday morning they were bagging things up at the house and a police officer is there during the hours of darkness to make sure no one comes along and takes anything.”

BLAZE TRAGEDY: Kirton has been left "shocked, subdued and amazed" after a fatal house fire on New Year's Day. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG-020119-017TW.
BLAZE TRAGEDY: Kirton has been left "shocked, subdued and amazed" after a fatal house fire on New Year's Day. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG-020119-017TW.

Detective Chief Inspector Karl Whiffen, of the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, said: “This is a complex investigation due to the circumstances and specialists at the scene are working diligently as we try to understand what happened.

“We are also supporting the families of those involved in this awful tragedy.

“I cannot say at this stage when the investigation will be completed but, at the end of the process, we will submit a file to the coroner.”

FATAL FIRE: The burnt-out remains of a house in Pear Tree Road, Kirton, where three people died and two people were injured on New Year’s Day. Photo: SG-020119-016TW.
FATAL FIRE: The burnt-out remains of a house in Pear Tree Road, Kirton, where three people died and two people were injured on New Year’s Day. Photo: SG-020119-016TW.

Kirton Parish Church has been open for people to remember the victims and their families ever since the fire.

Father Paul Blanch, vicar of Kirton, said: “The village was shocked by this tragic news which came at a time when people were partying and celebrating the new year.

BLAZE TRAGEDY: St Peter and St Paul's Church, Kirton, which staged its annual flower festival in June (pictured), has been open for prayer since the house fire on January 1. Photo supplied.
BLAZE TRAGEDY: St Peter and St Paul's Church, Kirton, which staged its annual flower festival in June (pictured), has been open for prayer since the house fire on January 1. Photo supplied.

“I personally didn’t know any of the people involved or their families.

“But people in my congregation did and they are coping with their grief in different ways.

“We’ve had the church open ever since, from morning until evening, for prayer.

“People have come to light candles and find some quiet time in a period when a huge amount of information has been circulated in what is a small area.

“I was really taken aback that within a few minutes of us posting on social media that the church was open and that we would be praying for the victims, we had 2,000 hits.

“Some people posted comments from as far afield as my old parish in California and New York with offers of prayer and support.

“It’s reassuring to know that people on the other side of the world are holding us in their prayers.”

Police are still keen to hear from anyone who has information about those who lived at the house, or anyone who was driving in or near Peartree Road, Kirton, between 3pm on New Year’s Eve and 3am on New Year’s Day.

Anyone with dashcam footage from the scene during the same period, or may have seen anything suspicious, should call 101 and quote incident number 139 of January 1.



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