Rayburn charged with arson for apt. fire

Published 8:51 am Friday, January 13, 2017

A Winchester man is in jail after allegedly admitting to setting his own apartment building on fire early this morning.

Frank F. Rayburn, 55, of 41 Buckner St. Apt. 4, was arrested for first-degree arson and first-degree wanton endangerment as firefighters continued to battle the blaze at the building on the corner of Buckner and Flanagan streets.

According to the arrest citation, Rayburn told police on the scene he set the fire because “he was tired of people messing with him and taking his things…” Another resident of the building quoted Rayburn as saying, “I’m burning them out. I’m tired of them robbing me.”

During his interview with police, he said he spread paper throughout his apartment and set it on fire. Rayburn also said there were three people in his apartment at the time.

Winchester Fire-EMS Battalion Chief Scotty Bell said everyone got out of the building and no injuries were reported.

Firefighters were called out shortly after 2 a.m. today to the four-apartment building at 41 Buckner St.

“Upon arrival, we had heavy fire on the first and second floors at the rear,” Bell said. Firefighters were told everyone was out of the building, but firefighters still searched until conditions worsened.

“Once the fire got into the attic, we had to pull them out,” he said.

It took about an hour and a half to bring the fire under control, he said, partly because of the building’s construction. It was an older building with heavy timbers inside, which had also been remodeled many times. Based on the fire damage alone, the building is a total loss, he said.

As light broke over the scene this morning, the extent of the damage became clear as the entire roof was gone and there was heavy damage inside as well.

Bell said the Red Cross was called to assist those who lived in the building.

Rayburn was lodged in the Clark County Detention Center. According to the jail website, a bond has not been set. Both charges are felonies.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

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