Bennington man perishes in early morning house fire on Saturday


A house fire at approximately 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning claimed the life of 20-year old Kenneth Lee “Swenny” Russell, Jr.

Switzerland County Sheriff’s dispatch said that a 911 call came in and reported that the home of Kenneth Russell, Sr., 702 Browning Lane off of Bennington Pike, was on fire. When emergency crews from the Moorefield Volunteer Fire Department and Switzerland County EMS arrived at the scene, the home was completely engulfed in flames.

The Switzerland County Sheriff’s Department and the Indiana State Police were also at the scene.

According to the official press release from the Switzerland County Sheriff’s office, when emergency responders arrived at the scene, Kenneth Russell, Sr., was lying in the front yard with burns on his back and other areas of his body. He was treated at the scene by Switzerland County EMS, but refused transport to the hospital for further aid.

According to the sheriff’s report, the body of Kenneth Russell, Jr., was found in a bedroom of the residence after the fire had been extinguished. Switzerland County Coroner Rodney Nay asked for an autopsy to determine the cause of death and to positively identify the victim.

The preliminary investigation has ruled that the cause of the fire was accidental, but officials from the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office and the Indiana State Police are in the process of finalizing the investigation.


Kenneth “Swenny” Russell was born on May 22nd, 1985, in Madison, and had spent his entire life in Switzerland County. For the past two years he had been employed at Fletcher Feed Mill in Bear Branch; and he had recently enlisted in the U.S. Army.

He enjoyed hunting and fishing and hanging out with his buddies, and he was a member of Fairview Baptist Church.

Kenneth Russell, Jr., is survived by his father, Kenneth Russell, Sr., and his mother, Rhonda Sue Bostic of Floyds Knobs, Indiana. He is also survived by five sisters: Kimberly Bear of Madison; Crystal Russell of Vevay; Chasity Bostic of Floyds Knobs; Merlonda Stewart of Floyds Knobs; and Rebecca Justice of Madison. He is also survived by a brother, James Bostic of Floyds Knobs.

He is also survived by his grandparents, Betty and Rick Smith of Vevay; and great-aunts Betty Bovard of Bennington and Dorothy Rowlett of Vevay.

Kenneth Russell’s calling is today (Thursday) from 9-11 a.m. at Haskell and Morrison Funeral Home; with the funeral service being held at the funeral home beginning at 11 a.m.