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Firefighter Found Dead in His Bunk – Tragedy Labeled ‘Completely Unexpected’

A 46-year-old Washington state firefighter was found dead in his bunk Thursday morning only hours after returning from a call. “It is with deep sadness, that Clallam County Fire District 3 must inform the local and fire service community of the Line of Duty Death of one of our officers this morning, Captain Charles ‘Chad’ Cate,” Fire Chief Ben Andrews wrote in a Facebook post on the page of Clallam County Fire District 3. “Captain Cate was discovered deceased in his bunk by members of his crew when they attempted to wake him this morning around 7 a.m.,” the post said. Cate had visited two fire scenes in the early hours of Thursday, according to the Peninsula Daily News. Cate had responded to a fire alarm activation that took place at a commercial building at about 2.25 a.m. and returned to the station. At about 4 a.m., he contacted a fellow captain and the duty chief that he had visited the site of an earlier house fire to tell them everything was alright at the scene. State Department of Labor and Industries personnel will investigate Cate’s death. Clallam County Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 2933, memorialized Cate on the union’s Facebook page. “His passing was completely unexpected and has stunned his family, friends and brothers and sisters of the IAFF 2933 and his entire Clallam County Fire District 3 family,” the post said. “Chad began his career as a firefighter in 1997 and has continuously worked to advance our department, our local, and his career,” the union wrote. “Chad spent over 20 years as a paramedic where he had the opportunity to make an impact on countless community members when they called 9-1-1. Chad was promoted to the rank of captain in 2020,” the post said. The union said a memorial service would be scheduled in the coming days. Cate had graduated from Sequim High School and was the school’s wrestling coach. Cate is survived by his wife, a 2-year-old son, and two adult children. A Facebook post noted that on Friday, Cate was escorted by firefighters to nearby Thurston County for his autopsy. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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