A 59-year-old Winchester man has been arrested on a charge of starting a fire Thursday night that sent several people to the hospital.
The fire in a three-story building at 40 North Main Street in downtown Winchester was reported about 9:30 p.m. The fire started in the apartments on the second and third floors, firefighters said.
Three people had to be rescued by a ladder from the upper floors, fire officials said. They were taken to area hospitals. Their conditions were not known. Several others in the apartments were able to escape out a back door, firefighters said.
Winchester police charged Billy Joe Ross, 59, of Winchester with one count of arson.
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WKYT reported that Ross told police he was tired of people stealing his stuff and decided to set fire to the curtains of an apartment.
Winchester firefighters said there was extensive damage to the Main Street building’s second and third floors. The first floor is business or office space. Surrounding buildings had some smoke damage. Several fire departments — including Lexington’s — helped Winchester firefighters..