Man charged with arson in Winchester apartment fire

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WINCHESTER, Ky. (WKYT) - Part of a building on Main Street in downtown Winchester caught on fire Thursday night. One man has been charged with arson.

Firefighters and police responded to the three-story building at 40 North Main Street around 10 Thursday night.

Fire officials say most residents were able to make it out of the back of the building safely, but firefighters had to rescue three people who were trapped on the third floor.

"That kind of scenario is something we train for a lot, but it's very difficult when you're faced with the real life situation, when real lives are involved," Battalion Chief Chris Whiteley of the Winchester Fire Department said.

The three residents rescued were taken to Clark County Regional Hospital for smoke inhalation. Another victim who escaped from the back of the building was taken to UK Hospital for treatment.

59-year-old Billy Ross is charged with arson in connection to the fire.
According to police, Ross admitted to them that he lit his curtains on fire because he was tired of people robbing him.

"We are homeless because of his ignorance. He should have never done what he did," resident Pamela Cantor said.

Officials say 11 to 15 people living in the building have to find some place else to stay.

The Red Cross was called Thursday night to help those folks out.

Billy Ross

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