Winchester man dies in apartment fire

Published 11:35 am Thursday, April 29, 2021

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Winchester man dies in apartment fire

Police also investigating homicide, death of inmate


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Sun Reporter

An apartment fire on North Main Street has claimed the life of a resident, an older man who was disabled, according to one of his neighbors.

Chester Sloan Jr., of 54 N. Main St., died last Friday when his apartment caught fire.

Clark County Coroner Robert Gayheart said he got the call about the fatality around 8 a.m. Friday when firefighters discovered there was a body inside the residence.

Lt. Joe Wheeling of the Winchester Fire Department, the city’s fire marshal, said the fire occurred about 5 a.m. He could not say what caused the fire.

“It’s still under investigation,” he said.

The other apartments in the building had smoke damage, but the fire didn’t spread to those apartments, Wheeling said.

“They did a pretty good job of putting a stop to it,” he said.

The Clark County Fire Department provided mutual aid.

The Winchester Police Department is investigating the incident.

One other resident was injured while escaping, he said.

Perry Welch, a resident of one of the other two apartments, said he hurt his wrist while getting out of the building. Now he has no place to live.

“All my stuff was ruined. All my memories are gone,” he said of his damaged photographs and other items.

Welch said that Sloan used a wheelchair and was “crippled” and couldn’t get out.

Gayheart said he thinks Sloan may have been in his 60s, but he knows little about him.

“He grew up in an orphanage,” he said.

The coroner said no autopsy has been done yet on Sloan. Gayheart, however, was at the Kentucky State Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville Thursday morning for two other autopsies, one a homicide victim who was shot Wednesday night in Winchester and a Clark County jail inmate who died Wednesday morning.

About Randy Patrick

Randy Patrick is a reporter for Bluegrass Newsmedia, which includes The Jessamine Journal. He may be reached at 859-759-0015 or by email at

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