A WOMAN screamed “let me out, stop hitting me” before a house fire killed her and two of her exes, an inquest heard.
Jay Edmunds, 27, died alongside Billy Hicks, 24, and Ashley Martin, 32, in a fire on New Year’s Day, in Kirton, Lincs.
The inquest at Boston Enterprise Centre heard that all three died of inhalation of smoke and combustion products.
Billy had also been stabbed once in the heart and at the time of the police said they believed Mr Martin was responsible for the attack.
Ashley, who would have been arrested on suspicion of murder if he had survived the blaze, had been in a romantic relationship with Jay.
They split up over Christmas last year and she had returned home from visiting her parents’ home in Devon.
Jay and Billy were also previously in a relationship.
Ashley had a penetrative wound to his left upper leg and injuries to his face but neither were believed to have been life threatening, an inquest heard.
Jay lived at the house with four other people – two of whom were there when fire broke out.
‘STOP HITTING ME’
Rachel Braim, Jay’s flatmate told the inquest at Boston Enterprise Centre she heard her saying: “Let me out, stop hitting me.”
She added: “There was a strong smell of petrol coming from under the door.
“Within seconds I could see flames coming out from under the bedroom door. I saw windows explode.
“The smoke became thick and parts of the ceiling came down.”
Natalie Hall told the inquest she had returned home from a night out and woke up to hear screaming and shouting.
She said: “I jumped out of bed and went straight to Jay’s room. I kicked the door and asked what was going on.
“I presumed Billy and Jay were arguing. I did not know there was a third person in the room.
“The next minute, the door opened and Ashley was there. He had a knife. He pointed it straight at me, in front of my chest.
“He did not speak. He had a crazy, angry look on his face.”
I saw the fire being ignited under the door. About two seconds later there was an explosion. It shook the house.
Natalie and Rachel went Jay’s room before they both saw flames glowing from under her door.
Natalie said: “I saw the fire being ignited under the door. About two seconds later there was an explosion.
“It shook the house.”
She ran to her room screaming and climbed out of her window and dropped to the ground below.
Rachel fled downstairs but the living room door was locked and she was rescued by neighbour Kenneth Wood.
He told ran towards the house after seeing a “large orange glow” from the street.
He said: “I got closer and saw a person in the window shouting; ‘I’m locked in.’
“I kicked the window as hard as I could but could not break it.
“I shouted for other people standing in the street to help me but they would not.”
Kenneth then picked up a lump of wood and with another man and they smashed the window and pulled Rachel out.
He said: “She was hysterical. She was saying there were three others inside.
“This incident has let me shocked and dazed. I couldn’t believe the lack of help from other members of the public who just stood and watched.”
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A neighbour told The Sun at the time that an ex-boyfriend of a resident in the £350,000 house had gone into it with a jerry can of fuel.
He allegedly yelled: “No one else will have you” before dousing the place in petrol.
The inquest was expected to conclude on Tuesday.
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