‘Overly Obese’ Body Starts Fire in Ohio Funeral Home

Crematorium Fire
Cincinnati, OH

In what was described as a “freak accident,” the body of an extremely overweight person started a fire in a Cincinnati funeral home during the cremation process.

The fire erupted at the Hillside Chapel Crematory in Cincinnati, Ohio, this week when staffers fired up the crematorium, according to WCPO TV.

“My operator was in the process of cremating remains and (the body) was overly obese, and apparently it got a little hotter than the unit is supposed to get,” owner Don Catchen told the TV reporter.

According to Cincinnati Fire Chief Michael Washington, the fire exploded out of the oven when the voluminous amount of fat in the body caught fire and leaked outside the device.

“We believe there were some combustible storage boxes that were too close to the ovens,” Washington added.

The owner of the funeral home noted that the containers used to store ashes caught fire. “That’s the only thing that’s burnt,” he said.

Apparently, there was no damage to the facilities, nor was there any threat of the fire spreading past the area near the oven.

Such “grease fires” are not unknown in the funeral home industry when dealing with overweight bodies.

WCPO notes that a crematorium in in Virginia caught fire in 2014 when trying to render a 500-pound body. Authorities said the overly hot fire caused rubber roofing near the smoke stack to begin melting and catching on fire.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.