Fire marshal: Roofers to blame for funeral home fire - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Fire marshal: Roofers to blame for funeral home fire

(Source: Rachel Carmack; Twitter) (Source: Rachel Carmack; Twitter)
(Source: Zach Bean; Twitter) (Source: Zach Bean; Twitter)

JONESBORO,AR (KAIT) – Jonesboro Fire Marshal Jason Wills tells Region 8 News that roofersare to blame for fire Monday afternoon that destroyed the Roller-Farmers UnionFuneral Home.

Thefire marshal says roofers were using LP gas torches to do work on the roof,when they sparked a fire. Wills says the roof at the funeral home was a woodenroof deck.

JonesboroFire Chief said on Monday that roofers working on the building were the firstto report the flames. "Noticed apparently the top of the roof was on firebut...it spread so fast it was difficult for us to stop," said Miller.

It'sthe biggest blaze Miller has seen since 2007, when Cavanaugh Lincoln Mercurycaught fire in downtown Jonesboro. Miller says firefighter arrived atRoller-farmers Union Funeral Home just after 3 o'clock Monday afternoon. "Wehad fire coming from the roof. We immediately started to try and do an interiorattack. We tried to make access into it. The roof started collapsing so we hadto pull our units back out," said Miller.

Employeeswere inside when the fire started and it wasn't until after the power went out,before anyone even realized something was wrong.

Becausethe funeral home has been around for several years, Miller believes thestructure of the building affected how quickly the flames moved. "Thisbuilding has been remodeled several times, has different layers of roof. Withthose void spaces, it may have been burning around there for sometime before wehad a chance to know it was even burning," said Miller.

Noone was injured. One body was inside the funeral home, but workers were able toget it out unharmed. Miller believes the fire originated from the roof area onthe back side of the building.

ChiefMiller says they did run into some problems with water supply and lack of waterpressure, but it was quickly resolved.

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