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  • Writer's pictureWRIL-FM

KSP conducts death investigation in Putney after crews respond to brush fire

From WRIL -

Friday afternoon December 30, 2022, Kentucky State Police began a death investigation after they were dispatched to a residence in the Putney Community. This was after fire personnel had been on scene trying to extinguish an out-of-control brush fire.


Kentucky State Police Trooper Shane Jacobs tells WRIL it was determined that an elderly 77-year-old man had been working outside when the fire happened. Harlan County Coroner Philip Bianchi confirmed to WYMT that it happened near Highway 522. Bianchi said Bill Ellis was trying to battle the fire and was found dead outside his home. While no foul play is suspected, the investigation is on-going.


Initially responding to the fire were the Putney and Sunshine Fire Departments and Emergency Management Director David McGill.

Bill Ellis - WYMT (Hannah Reynolds)

Bill Ellis worked for WFSR for many years, and beginning in the mid-70's, he worked with WYMT's Neil Middleton and Tony Turner.


He retired in 2019, but continued to broadcast from time-to-time. WTUK's Shaun Burnett tells us that Ellis came out of retirement last year to co-host play-by-play covering local high school football in Harlan County.


Burnette says Ellis' favorite quote (telling absolutely everyone) that he was "Blessed everyday".


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