Three dead after hospice attack

Man arrested on suspicion of murder

Updated: 



Two more people have died following an arson attack on a hospice, bringing the death toll to three.

A 67-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of two of the residents of St Michael's Hospice in St Leonards, East Sussex.

The 62-year-old woman and an 81-year-old man died after being taken to the Conquest Hospital in Hastings suffering from smoke inhalation.

A 78-year-old woman also died following the fire but Sussex Police are still investigating whether her death was connected with the blaze.

Emergency services were called to the fire in the early hours of yesterday. It was declared a major incident and 23 residents and nine staff were evacuated.

A Sussex Police spokesman said that the arrested man was known to the hospice and was initially arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life. He has now been further arrested on two counts of murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Preston said: "This is an extremely difficult time for the residents and staff of St Michael's Hospice and for the families of the residents who have sadly passed away.

"We are now treating this as murder and a 67-year-old man arrested on suspicion of arson has now been further arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder."

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