He's being praised as a tireless advocate for Kentucky's working people. Charles Wells is dead after a fire at his Scott County home. He was 52 and he was a busy man. He was the former executive director of the Kentucky Association of State Employee, a workers' rights advocate. He was on the State Personnel Cabinet during Governor Beshear's first term and finance chairman of the State Democratic Party.
'He's gong to be very much missed in this community. I can tell you, very much missed," says friend Chuck Tackett.
Many in the state are in shock after hearing the news that longtime Kentucky labor leader and Democratic activist Charles Wells was killed in a fire at his Scott County home Tuesday night.
"It's pretty tough. It's very tough when it's a close friend like that. The community is going to miss Charles," explains Tackett.
Police say Charles died from smoke inhalation after a space heater caused a fire in the rear of his Lakeview Drive home. No one else was home at the time of the fire. Charles leaves behind a wife, Shelia and countless other family members, friends and colleagues, like Dan Logsdon who is the Kentucky Democratic Party Chair. He says Charles loss will be felt throughout the entire state.
"He was always willing to take on the thankless task and to do the hard work that a lot of people. We have a lot of people show up who want to help but when you ask them to do the stuff that's not glamorous, in their mind, they take a pass and Charles was the type of person who relished the opportunity to help in anyway," comments Logsdon.
Logsdon says Charles truly loved what he did and always had a smile on his face.
"He was genuinely always glad to see folks and that's something that is especially in this business, you learn to appreciate," says Logsdon.
And while Charles is gone, his legacy will live on.
"We just grieve for his family and he made a mark on this place and he won't soon be forgotten," explains Logsdon.
Funeral arrangements are still pending.