Human Remains from Crematorium Billow in Smoke over San Diego

Crematorium accident sends smoke containing human ashes above South San Diego County

On May 24, a South San Diego County crematorium accident sent heavy clouds of smoke containing human remains over the area.

National City’s Cortez Family Crematorium ran their furnace without closing one of its doors, according to National City Fire Captain Brian Krebs. The building’s heat detectors activated the fire extinguishers, but firefighters said even that produced a strong odor.

Krebs has confirmed that human ashes in the cloud that flew across streets, toward local Walmart and Best Buy stores. Yet furnace operator Rick Hank denies this claim; first maintaining that it is impossible for human ashes to leave the system, and then that the system’s manufacturer would have to answer for why they did.

The San Diego Air Pollution Control District has reassured the public that the disturbing cloud nevertheless poses no actual health risk, and the crematorium resumed its operations just a few hours later.


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