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 roofers are to blame for fire Monday afternoon that destroyed the Roller-Farmers Union Funeral Home.

The fire 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 wooden roof deck.

Jonesboro Fire Chief said on Monday that roofers working on the building were the first to report the flames. "Noticed apparently the top of the roof was on fire but...it spread so fast it was difficult for us to stop," said Miller.

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

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

Because the funeral home has been around for several years, Miller believes the structure of the building affected how quickly the flames moved. "This building has been remodeled several times, has different layers of roof. With those void spaces, it may have been burning around there for sometime before we had a chance to know it was even burning," said Miller.

No one was injured. One body was inside the funeral home, but workers were able to get it out unharmed. Miller believes the fire originated from the roof area on the back side of the building.

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

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