Pennsylvania auto dealer Gregory Graham died of a heart attack while torching new vehicles at his struggling dealership, police said last week.
Four flaming cars drew firefighters to Graham Colonial Motors at 2 a.m. on Feb. 17. They discovered Graham's body on the ground.
Graham, 61, died of a heart attack while he was burning the vehicles at his dealership in Ligonier, about 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, police and coroners said.
Firefighters found the four flaming cars at the end of a row of about a dozen vehicles on the lot. Several of those vehicles had broken windows and smelled strongly of gasoline, said police who answered emergency calls. They found rolled-up newspapers and a gasoline can nearby.
Graham was a third-generation dealer. His grandfather, Albert, started Graham Colonial Motors in the 1920s. Graham's father, Charles, later took over.
Mike Matrunics, Ligonier Township's police chief, said no one in Graham's family knew he was going to torch the cars.
"We understand from the family at this point that they were struggling with the business because of the economic times," Matrunics said.
The dealership owed more than $420,000 in 2008 federal tax liens and more than $11,000 in county property-tax liens, according to court records.
Graham had sold Buick, Pontiac and Jeep vehicles, his father said.
"I'm sorry that it happened," he said. "It's going to take a long time to get over."
The dealership closed last week.