A teenager has told a jury Dyson Allen was “freaked out” by the flame of a lighter when he went to light a cigarette the morning after a fatal house fire which killed four siblings.
But Rogan Jones, 17, said he thought his friend’s reaction was a sudden reminder of the tragic events of the previous night.
Allen, 19, of no fixed address, denies the murder and manslaughter of Reece Smith, 19, twins Holly and Ella, four and Jordan, two, who died in the fire at their home on Lytham Road, Freckleton on January 7 last year.
Rogan Jones told Preston Crown Court he had been dozing on a sofa in the living room when the TV suddenly went off and minutes later Allen came running downstairs saying there was fire.
In the aftermath of the blaze, the teenager said he thought one of the children may have taken a candle up to their bedroom, although he later confirmed he had not seen them do this and that it was just a theory.
The morning after the fire, Mr Jones said he and Allen went to the shop to buy some cigarettes and a lighter.
In a police statement, he recalled: “When he (Allen) went to spark his fag up, he went ‘I don’t want to be doing that, playing around with this’, and stuff like that.
“He was freaked out by the flame from the lighter.
“I didn’t get the impression he had started the fire when he said this.
“It was more of a sudden reminder of what had happened.”
Mr Jones told the police he had seen one of the twins close to some tealight candles, which were lit in the living room of the property between 3pm and 5pm on the day of the fire.
However he told the court he had not seen any child holding a candle and the youngster had been supervised by her mother, Michelle Smith, when she was near the candles.