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Scott County fire victim a well-known state employee

By: Angela Beavin: Elizabeth Dorsett Email
By: Angela Beavin: Elizabeth Dorsett Email

New details are coming out about a fire that killed a man well-known in political circles.

State police say firefighters found Charles Wells dead in his Scott County home after neighbors called to report the fire last night. He was a leader in the democratic party and worked for the governor.

Kentucky State Police Arson Investigators joined Scott County crews on the scene for much of the day Wednesday, even taking Wells' widow, Sheila, through the home. They now say Wells died of smoke inhalation after a spaceheater in the sunroom caught something on fire.

Friends and family say the 51-year-old Pikeville native will be missed.

"It's just unbelievable," says Charles "Macy" Tackett, "He was just a gentle, friendly person with everybody, a very nice person."

Tackett, a former Scott County Judge executive, has known Wells for years and stopped by the Lakeview Drive home Wednesday.

"He was so full of life," State Democratic Party Chairman Dan Logsdon said while describing his long time friend. "He was so looking forward to this election year," Logsdon continued.

Wells was the executive director of the Kentucky Association of State Employees (KASE.) He resigned in 2008, but continued his work as a labor activist and began working for the state's personnel cabinet under Governor Beshear.

"He was passionate about politics, and he just loved everybody," Tackett says.

Wells' knack for politics led him to run as a democratic candidate for state senate in 2003.

Colleagues of Wells from both KASE and the personnel cabinet say he was a mentor to many and was a good advocate for the working people of Kentucky.

Wells' wife, Sheila, was not home last night when their home caught fire. We're told she is now spending time with family in Johnson County, where the two are from.

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