Inquests open after three deaths at Leeds house

INQUESTS have opened after two women and a man were found dead following a fire at a house in Leeds.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 11th April 2016, 1:30 pm
Updated Monday, 11th April 2016, 1:37 pm

Wakefield Coroner’s Court heard the bodies of Joanne Marie Semple, 36, Stephen Fitzgerald, 18, Kelly Louise Taylor, 28, (pictured left to right) were found at the address on East Park Street, East End Park, Leeds on Sunday March 27.

West Yorkshire Coroner David Hinchliff said Joanne Semple’s mother went to the address as she was concerned because she had not heard from her daughter that day.

Mr Hinchliff said she failed to get a response from knocking on the door and alerted police and the fire brigade after noticing the windows at the house were blackened.

Emergency services had to force open an internal door to the lounge because there was no door handle on it.

Joanne Semple and Kelly Taylor were found in an unresponsive state in the lounge along with a number of dogs.

Mr Hinchliff said: “There was evidence of a fire having occured within the room from a plastic container close to a settee, which is believed to have contained flammable liquid, but that is still to be confirmed.”

The inquest openings heard Stephen Fitzgerald’s body was discovered in the kitchen at the house.

Joanne Semple and Kelly Taylor lived at the East Park Street address and Mr Fitzgerald, of Garton Terrace, East End Park, had been staying at the address.

All three, who were identified by fingerprints, were pronounced dead at the scene of the incident by paramedics.

Mr Hinchliff said forensic post mortem examinations have been carried out, but causes of death on all three are not available as results of toxicology tests are awaited.

Mr Hinchliff adjourned the three inquests pending the results of investigations by West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Fire Service.