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Fire Starts Outside Cremation Oven

Fire Starts Outside Cremation Oven

Posted - Oct. 24, 2006 at 2:56 p.m.

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KSL Newsradio's Andrew Adams reportingFirefighters were called to the Salt Lake Mausoleum today after something went wrong during a cremation.

It's part of the Garner Funeral Home in the High Avenues above Salt Lake City Cemetery. Firefighters say there was a small fire outside a cremation oven. It was caused when body fluids leaked out. Experts say that can happen when temperatures get too hot for an unusually large body.

The body was big, weighing 600 pounds, and investigators say when fat burns, it turns into grease.

"The fluids can be very flammable, kind of like a grease fire," said Salt Lake Fire Spokesman Scott Freitag. "It's been quite some time since we had some leakage like this, but it's not terribly uncommon to have extra smoke or flame from a large body."

Freitag says the funeral home will often call the fire department if it's about to burn a large body. A worker used a fire extinguisher to douse most of the fire. Crews helped with the clean-up.

There were no injuries and no major damage.


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