REPORT: Humphreys Co firefighter admits to causing 6 fires

WSMV arson locations
WSMV arson locations
Published: Jul. 9, 2022 at 11:59 AM CDT
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WAVERLY, Tenn. (WSMV) - A former Humphreys County volunteer firefighter was arrested after he admitted to causing six fires in Waverly.

Leslie Roy Winchester, 19, was charged with four counts of aggravated arson, two counts of arson, six counts of vandalism over $10,000, and six counts of criminal trespass for a total bond of $1,796,000.

On July 8, Humphreys County Fire responded to a store on fire in the 2700 block of Highway 70 called Jennifer’s Discount Gifts & Furniture the day prior.

After battling the fire, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was requested to investigate several fires occurring in the county over a short time.

TBI was able to link information back to Winchester, a firefighter for Humphreys County Fire. On July 9, he admitted to the Humphreys County Sheriff’s Office for setting fire to not only the store with the use of gasoline but five other fires that occurred throughout the past month.

The first fire Winchester started was on June 13, when he set fire to the Old Market General Store in the 6700 block of Highway 13 North in Waverly. According to the affidavit, Winchester told officers that he threw a cigarette in the front door, which caused the fire.

On June 29, Winchester admitted to setting an abandoned house on fire in the 5500 block of Bakerville Road by using lighter liquid fluid.

Winchester also admitted to setting a fire inside the Humphreys County Fire Station District 5 at 2160 Turkey Creek Road by setting paper inside a garbage can.

During one of the fires, Winchester admitted to causing another firefighter named Bobby Rich to be injured. On July 3, Rich was injured while battling a fire at Glenwood Church of Christ in the 2600 block of Pumpkin Creed Road. Winchester said he used a small amount of gasoline at the back door to set the fire.

On July 6, another firefighter named Jennifer Steward was injured while trying to fight a fire at the Cotton Valley Masonic Lodge in the 8800 block of Bakerville Road. Winchester allegedly started the fire using a small amount of gasoline between the exterior wall and central unit.

Before his arrest, Winchester was praised, and Humphreys County awarded him firefighter of the year in December 2021.

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