Crematorium Fire Sparked by 500-lbs Body

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Henrico County, VA -- A fire at a Virginia crematorium was ignited when a 500 lbs body got too hot inside a cremation furnace, sparking a fire.

"The Henrico Fire Marshal's office has determined the cause of the fire to have been accidental in nature.  The rubber roofing near the smoke stack was ignited by the heat of the stack," said Fire Spokesman Captain Daniel Rosenbaum.

There were three people inside the building when the fire ignited, and they were able to get out safely.

According to the Cremation Society of Virginia's website, it takes 2-3 hours at 2,000 degrees to cremate an average sized adult.  The body that started the fire was so large that it made the furnace too hot.

"When the person is too heavy, the guy running the crematory needs to not have continuous heat coming down on the body.  Otherwise it would get too hot," said Emory Sanford, a Windsor Crematory employee.

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