SUMNER COUNTY, TN (WSMV) - A country music songwriter was killed in a house fire in Sumner County.
 
Fire crews say the fire happened in the 2600 block of New Hope Road.
 
"I just knew it was a big one. Usually when you see that much smoke, it usually means it's already through the roof," Fire Chief Marty Bowers of the Shackle Island Volunteer Fire Department said.
 
Chief Bowers said the person who died has been identified as Ray Pennington, who was well known in the country music industry. Pennington's wife was also inside the home and managed to make it out safely. 
 
Crews believe the fire started with a golf cart inside the garage that spread to the house. 
 
Two firefighters were transported to the hospital for heat exhaustion. 
 
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is also investigating, but their exact role in the investigation is unclear at this time. 
 
Pennington's family told News4 Ray was 86-years-old. He had three daughters, three grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and one on the way. 
"I lost the greatest man I've ever known," granddaughter Katie McCormack said.
 
To Katie, Ray was just "Pop." To the world, he was a well known singer, songwriter and producer in the country music industry. 
 
"He liked to sing in the morning to wake you up," McCormack said. "He made everything a song."
 
It's that kind of spirit McCormack will miss the most, and the farm she, along with many others called home. 
 
Despite losing "Pop", McCormack will be carrying on his legacy.
 
"Spread kindness like him," she said. "See the best in everything, the good in everything."

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WSMV Digital Content Producer

A New York City native and a graduate of the Mizzou School of Journalism, Ethan joined the WSMV Digital Team in June 2019. Send him story ideas, food recommendations and sports topics to Ethan.Illers@wsmv.com and follow him on Twitter @EthanIllers_TV!

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