COUNTY NEWS: Sussex hospice victims named

Police have named the two people who died following a fire at a Sussex hospice in the early hours of Saturday (July 11).

The scene of the fire. Picture by Eddie Mitchell
The scene of the fire. Picture by Eddie Mitchell

Jill Moon, 62, of St Helens Crescent, and David Denness, 81, of Swaines Passage, were patients at St Michael’s Hospice in St Leonards when the fire broke out in the early hours.

They were taken to the Conquest Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation but sadly died several hours later.

Tests are being carried out to establish the exact cause of their deaths.

Officers are waiting to question a man arrested on suspicion of murder following a fire. The 67-year-old suspect, who is known to the hospice, is ill in hospital.

He was initially arrested for arson with intent to endanger life on Saturday but was then further arrested on two counts of suspicion of murder on Sunday (July 12).

Fire, ambulance and police all declared the fire a major incident and 23 patients and nine staff were all evacuated.

Detective chief inspector Mark Preston, of the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team, said: “This is a complicated investigation and our thoughts remain with the families of the residents who have sadly passed away.”

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