Jay Edmunds, 27, died in the New Year’s Day house fire in Kirton, Lincolnshire
A second victim of a New Year’s Day house fire was today named as a woman who died with a former boyfriend desperately hoping to win her back.
Jay Edmunds, 27, of Kirton, Lincolnshire, had split up with long term partner Billy Hicks, 24, a year ago and shortly before he lost his beloved father.
But the couple remained close friends even though both moved onto new relationships, friends said today.
A third man aged 32 also died in the fire which destroyed the £340,000 home owned and rented out by Miss Edmunds’s parents, former pub chef Paul and his wife Donna, both 54.
Lincolnshire Police will not say who the killer is in the ‘domestic related’ murder which is still being investigated. Officers are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
But a jealous ‘psycho’ lover or ex is said to have sparked the inferno after first stabbing the two victims before dying too.
Billy Hicks, 24, was named by former colleagues as one of the three people killed in the blaze
A forensic investigator at the scene yesterday after the devastating fire in Kirton, Lincolnshire
The bodies were burned beyond recognition and were identified by dental records.
Survivor Natalie Hall, who escaped the ferocious flames at the large detached house by jumping from a bedroom window, told how a jealous ‘complete psycho’ had ignited the property in a fit of rage.
A neighbour said the horror begun when a male carrying a jerry can of petrol shouted ‘If I can’t have you no one else will’ before setting it ablaze.
Detectives are investigating the possibility that a love triangle row fuelled the 3.15am bloodshed which has shocked and saddened neighbours.
Paul and Donna Edmunds, who have a son Liam sharing the house and now live in Devon, are said to be ‘totally numbed and devastated’ by the tragedy.
Natalie Hall (left) is thought to have escaped after jumping from a top floor bedroom – and only suffered a leg injury. Rachel Braim (right), a Police Community Support Officer, also escaped
A friend of Billy and Jay’s named only as Liam said: ‘This is a crazy situation and unbelievable. Our hearts are broken. They were a lovely couple, on off and he hoped back on.
‘They’d been together for years and both worked at Jay’s parents’ pub but split up last January. They stayed mates but moved on with new partners.
‘We heard that Billy’s latest girlfriend had given him the elbow just before Christmas. He was upset and still grieving over his dad’s death and really hoped he and Jay could make it work again.’
Liam, 23, who declined to be fully identified, added: ‘But Jay had been seeing someone else.
The fire at the £350,000 property (above) is being treated as a ‘domestic related’ murder
‘It was all a bit complicated because she still cared for Billy, they’d been together for ages before splitting.
‘No one knows what happened in the house, it’s sickening, and who killed who and there’s all these rumours going round and it’s horrible and police won’t say anything.’
A heartbroken friend of both mobile phone customer adviser Mr Hicks and Miss Edmunds posted a heartfelt tribute to them on Facebook.
Lyndon Stark wrote: ‘Rest in peace Billy Hicks. Shared some laughs back in the days. You’re back with your dad safe from this sh***y world. Until we meet again sleep tight.’
He added: ‘Rest in peace Jay Edmunds. Thinking of all the families involved. If I can do anything to help do not refuse to ask.’
Rhys Jones simply posted: ‘Some very sad news just received. My work bestie Jay. Going to miss you millions. RIP beautiful.’
The manager at the Black Bill pub in Kirton, which Mr Hicks and Miss Edmunds used to visit, said: ‘It is dreadful news and we are so sorry to hear about their deaths.
‘They often popped in for a drink and seemed like a lovely young couple. They were known by many in the community and everyone’s taking about the tragedy.’
Police launched the probe following the huge fire at the house (pictured on Wednesday)
A local beauty shop, Sylvia’s Salon, is collecting clothes and personal items for the two survivors of the blaze, Miss Hall and Rachel Braim, who lost everything.
A note on the window reads: ‘Any donations to the victims of the Kirton fire can be dropped off here at the salon. Thank you.’
A beautician, who was at school with Billy, said: ‘This is truly shocking and we as a business just wanted to do something to help the community.
‘Three people lost their lives and two girls who survived have lost everything they own in that fire. We are asking people to donate clothes and essentials to give to them.’
The victims in the blaze at the detached home (pictured on Wednesday) were 24, 27 and 32
Mr Hicks worked as a bar team leader at the Spirit of Endeavour in Boston from April 2015 to June 2017.
Girlfriend Miss Edmunds, a childhood sweetheart, also helped out at the pub run by her parents.
The couple split up in January last year and weeks later Mr Hicks lost his father Derek Hicks, which friends say ‘both broke his heart’.
He posted on social media: ‘Rest in peace dad. I’ll love you forever’ with a heart & sad face emojis.
Two people taken to hospital after the fire at the house (above, Wednesday) were discharged
While Miss Edmunds later moved on with a fresh partner, Mr Hicks started dating Lisha Lowe.
He posted a celebratory tribute to his sweetheart last month saying: ‘Happy birthday beautiful lady. Hope you enjoyed the presents. I love you millions.’
Ms Lowe has been ‘too upset’ to make any public comment about Mr Hicks’s death with a pal saying: ‘She doesn’t want to talk. Everyone’s hurting.’
Local residents suggest the couple has recently split up.
Police launched a domestic-related murder probe after the fire at the home (on Wednesday)
One of Mr Hicks’s friends, George Baldwin, wrote on Facebook: ‘For a few days I’ve been wondering how to say something when the time comes but you never think about writing something like this about someone so young and full of life and that you know so well, someone that could brighten up the mood in a room with his smile or one simple funny comment, someone with a kind loving heart, there if you needed to talk to him about something on your mind, but yet still take the p*** out of you when you’re with the lads.
‘He was always the one that would make everyone laugh till we would have tears in our eyes. You impacted so many lives with your laughter and love – and the proof is here with the amount of people sharing memories with you, and the amazing things they have said about you is enough to show what kind of person you were.’
The destroyed house is pictured in the most recent Google Street View image from 2009
Another friend, Beth Teft, added: ‘How awful, I went to school with him and we had such a laugh. He was my bus buddy. Used to have a right laugh to and from school. The most funniest, kindest and biggest joker I’ve ever met.’
And Leon Andrew said: ‘RIP, Billy Hicks. You were a decent lad, known you all the way through school. I am so sorry to hear this horrible news, just so devastating that you went so cruelly and so young.
‘You didn’t deserve this mate. My sinceres [sic] go out to all your family. You will be greatly missed by everyone who knew you and loved you.’
A dozen brightly coloured bouquets of flowers have been placed on the pavement within the police cordon outside the burned-out home.
For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, or see samaritans.org for details.