The Garrard County Coroner confirms a man found dead in his burning home Wednesday night died of a heart attack while cooking. The fire started in the kitchen of a home on Arvin Drive in Lancaster from the food Danny Cates was cooking at the time he died.
Friends of the 57-year-old man tried to save him after finding him unconscious on the floor of the burning kitchen.
Close friends say a friend of Cates' step-son made the discovery and started yelling for help. "He-he wasn't breathing or anything," a neighbor said. "I tried to administer CPR to him."
Cates is a retired volunteer firefighter and had also worked as a mechanic for the school system.
Neighbors suspected what the coroner confirmed Thursday. "We thought he'd had a heart attack and maybe fell, and then the fire from where he was cooking eventually set the house on fire."