Songwriter Ray Pennington killed in Sumner County house fire

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SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A country music singer, songwriter and producer was killed in a house fire in Sumner County Wednesday, according to Shackle Island Volunteer Fire Chief Martin Bowers.

Bowers told News 2 the victim was American music legend Ray Pennington.

“The smoke got in the house and he went out to see what was going on,” Bowers explained. “So, I guess when he opened the door that’s when he saw the fire.”

While investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire, Bowers says preliminary evidence shows the fire started in the garage with a golf cart.

“His wife went in to try to go see what was going on and the smoke drove her out,” said Bowers. “She got out of the house, but he didn’t.”

EMA Director Ken Weidner told News 2 there were six departments on the scene at New Hope Road in rural Hendersonville.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation responded to the scene. No other information is being released at this time.

Pennington was 86 years old.

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