STANFORD — A Lincoln County man was found dead following a fire at his home Sunday morning.
State police said Herbert H. Simpson, 83, was deceased when crews arrived at 2045 Boneyville Road near Stanford about 10:24 a.m.
According to Lincoln Coroner Farris Marcum, a passing driver on Sunday morning noticed flames coming from the roof. After the man entered the building, he saw smoke coming from the kitchen area.
Marcum said the man first got a bucket of water before running across the street to a nearby church where services were about to start. There, he grabbed a fire extinguisher, which he used to put out the flames. Once the fire was out, Simpson’s body was located on the floor next to the stove.
It appears a grease fire began when Simpson, who lived alone, was cooking on the stove and some of the grease splattered, catching him on fire, Marcum said.
Simpson was declared dead about 11:30 a.m. Marcum said Simpson also may have suffered smoke inhalation and his body was taken to Frankfort to the State Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the exact cause of death.
Marcum said Simpson had a large number of friends and family members in the Boneyville area and many of them gathered at the scene following the fire to mourn his loss.
“I’d met him on several occasions, and he was just a super nice man,” Marcum said.
Lincoln Fire Chief Danny Glass said the flames were primarily contained to the kitchen with some smoke damage to an adjacent room. Glass noted the importance of smothering a grease fire, preferably with a fire extinguisher, and not using water, which can spread the grease.
The fire is being investigated by state police Arson Investigator Pat Alford and Detective Mark Young.