A CORONER said he feared suspects had been untruthful when giving evidence to an inquest which determined the death of a Trowbridge woman as an unlawful killing, after the fire at her home is thought to have been started deliberately.

Nicholas Rheinberg told the conclusion of the two-day hearing of his concerns that the investigation had been hindered.

He said: “This investigation has not been hampered by the lack of evidence but by the lack of truth in witnesses’ conflicted accounts of that night.

“It is not my job to determine to who is responsible for this fire. I am however convinced that this fire was a deliberate act and confirm the death of Agnieszka Swierczynska-Jaros to be an unlawful killing.

“The cause of death is multiple organ failure due to smoke inhalation which was worsened by her ongoing liver problems.”

Police launched a murder investigation after Agnieszka Swierczynska-Jaros, 37, died at Morriston Hospital in Swansea on January 29 last year, two weeks after a fire at her home on Frome Road at 1.30am.

Witnesses described the fire as an “inferno” and heard screaming from the upstairs bedroom, where Ms Swierczynska-Jaros was trapped before being rescued by fire crews.

Officers and fire investigators had suspected the fire was started deliberately as traces of fuel were found over the house and it is believed the fire was started in both the lounge and kitchen.

The house was occupied by eight Polish nationals, and Piotr Curlyo and Zygmunt Bartlomiejczyk shared a room with Ms Swierczynska-Jaros.

Mr Curlyo said: “Me and Zygmunt went to bed at about 10pm. He woke me up again around 1am because there was no alcohol in the house.

“We drove to Tesco to buy some more, but Zygmunt realised he left his wallet behind so we walked back to get it.

“We then drank some beers down by the river. When we returned home we couldn’t get back in the house and there were fire engines there.”

CCTV footage showed them drive to Tesco at this time, but Mr Bartlomiejczyk did not mention anything about the forgotten wallet.

Mr Bartlomiejczyk did not appear at the inquest, which heard his statement read out. Both men denied having anything to do with the fire.

They were both arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to cause harm to life but were later released due to insufficient evidence.

DC David Topp who investigated as the case told the court how the severity of the fire also raised suspicions.

He said: “There was extensive damage to the house which made investigations difficult, however accelerants were found in the kitchen and living room. There was no indication of a break-in.

“Arrests were made but there was no sufficient evidence to charge anyone.

“We seized the mobile phones of all occupants of the house but we were unable to retain any evidence from them. Any new evidence will be investigated.”

Fire crew manager for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, Paul Beety told the court how he battled through thick smoke to try to find Ms Swierczynska-Jaros.

He said: “I went into the house and up the stairs and noticed the door knob on one of the bedrooms had melted.

“There was no paint or wallpaper left, everything that could burn had done and everything was so hot. I broke down the door to the bedroom and could see nothing but thick, black smoke.

“I had to crawl on my hands and knees and feel my way around the room. I felt the wardrobe and what felt like a duvet, I then realised there was someone under the duvet. I thought I heard a groan from Ms Swierczynska-Jaros when I turned her over and I called for help. Three of us carried her down the stairs.”