Rockcastle Co. man killed after debris fire gets out of control

ROCKCASTLE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Investigators call it a tragic accident. They say a man trying to burn debris died when the fire got out of control.

It happened Friday morning on Chestnut Ridge Road in Rockcastle County.

According the Fayette County Coroner's Office, Robert Childress, 64, died at UK Hospital. We're told he died of smoke inhalation and suffered burns to 95% of his body.

Carol Durham was horrified to learn what happened. Childress was her neighbor and she says he was an all around great guy.

"I'm going to miss him when I look up there and not see him on that porch," Durham said. "Cause he had a chair and he would always sit on that porch back in the summer. He would always wave. He was a very good person. We're going to miss him."

Childress' wife, Pam, tells us he suffered a stroke three years ago. She says his health was never the same, but he didn't let that stop him from working around the house.

"He would carry that chair and use it for a cane. He would walk out to her rose bush right there and he would open it and he would sit in that chair and pull weeds out of the roses," Durham said.

The Kentucky Division of Forestry wants to warn others of the dangers of outdoor burning.

"We have a lot of debris fires, where they get out of control and sometimes the land owners will try to put it out," said Jared Calvert with the Division of Forestry. "We strongly advise landlords not to do that, give us a call."

We're told Childress leaves behind his wife of 31 years.

He had three children and eight grandchildren.

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