A CORONER will resume an inquest into the deaths of three patients killed by a fire at a hospice.

Pearl Spencer, 78, Jill Moon, 62, and David Denness, 81, died after suffering smoke inhalation following the blaze at St Michael's Hospice in St Leonards.

Patient Rodney Smith, 67, was charged with arson after the fire on 11 July 2015 but died in jail before his trial.

The hospice was later fined £250,000 for its "woefully inadequate" safety measures.

Hove Crown Court heard staff were ill-trained to deal with such an event, and the main fire exit was locked.

Starting tomorrow, the East Sussex Coroners Court will resume the inquest of the three patients after it was suspended pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings against the hospice.

After hearing submissions from Patrick Roche on behalf of the family of Jill Moon who died in the fire, Senior Coroner Alan Craze agreed that it was right that the inquests into the deaths of Mrs Moon, David Denness and Pearl Spencer should be resumed so that the families could hear what had happened on the night of the fire.

The hearing will be held at Muriel Matters House in Hastings from 10am.