Trigg County Coroner John Mark Vinson said he believed that Downs lived in the home for about six months after moving to Trigg County from Nelson County.
Vinson said that area fire companies received a call about the fire at 9:15 PM Monday, though established the time of Downs’ death at 9:00 PM. An autopsy was scheduled to be performed on Downs late Tuesday afternoon by the Western Kentucky medical examiner in Madisonville. Though autopsy results will not be available for this edition of The Cadiz Record, Vinson ruled the preliminary cause of death to be carbon monoxide or smoke inhalation. The coroner added that in his preliminary post-mortem examination, he noted no signs of foul play.
“The majority of the time we see fatalities in a fire, the victim parishes from smoke, soot or carbon monoxide inhalation,” said Vinson.
The Cadiz Record attempted to contact Public Information Officer Trooper Barry Meadows of the Kentucky State Police before press time. Meadows and KSP Fire Inspector Frank Gresham were not in their office, though the dispatcher on duty said that the KSP would not release a statement without official identification of the victim.
Vinson said that Downs was the sole occupant of the home at the time of the fire. Downs leaves behind a wife, Cindy, who left the home earlier in the evening. He added that no children lived at home at the time of the fire.
After conversation with KSP and Kentucky State Fire Marshals, Vinson said, “One thing they are looking at is the possibility of the fire originating with the heating source of the house. That’s common for this time of year. I know that is one thing (Det. Frank Gresham) is interested in.”
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.