Murder accused ‘lit fires’

Jordan Smith, who died in the house fire in Freckleton.

Jordan Smith, who died in the house fire in Freckleton.

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A teenager accused of starting a house fire which claimed the lives of four siblings regularly played with fire in the years before the fatal blaze, a murder trial has heard.

Dyson Allen, 19, would start bonfires and set fire to aerosols with his friends in the field behind his grandma’s home in Lytham.

On one occasion Allen, of no fixed address, was taken to hospital in an ambulance suffering burns to his eyebrow and scalp, Preston Crown Court was told.

Another time he was given a ticket by a local police officer after a petrol can he was holding caught light and the flames spread out of control.

Allen’s former friend, Ryan Wignall, 17, told the court that between 2008 and 2010 he, Allen and another friend would light bonfires on an almost fortnightly basis in the field behind their homes.

Allen, who lived with his grandmother, would do “magic tricks” where he would spray Lynx deodorant onto his hand and set it on fire.

Mr Wignall told the court on one occasion Allen threw about five litres of petrol onto a small fire they had started.

He told the court: “When he threw the petrol it backfired into the can and when he kicked it to stop it spreading it spread around more.

“The can was on fire. He dropped it and kicked it.

“When he kicked it, it was like in the air, the flames. It was out of control.”

The fire stopped when one of the boys got a jug of water from his house and extinguished it.

One other occasions they would throw aerosol cans on the fire, which Allen brought from his house.

Mr Wignall said: “They used to explode and make a big bang.

“It was dangerous but it didn’t spread and get out of control that much.

“There would be a bang and they would fly in the air.”

The court heard Allen stopped lighting bonfires after he was injured and taken to hospital around November 2010.

Allen denies four counts of murder and four counts of manslaughter after Reece Smith, 19, his twin sisters Ella and Holly, four and brother Jordan, two died in the fire at the house in Lytham Road, Freckleton on January 7 last year.

(Proceeding)

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