Today is Monday, July 24, 2017

Sellars vows to rebuild

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Units of the Lebanon Fire Department arrived on the scene shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday after being alerted by a patrolling Lebanon Police officer.

"The officer who called it in said flames were coming through the roof," said LFD Chief Chris Dowell. "I could see the fire from about eight miles out as I was headed into town."

"All the families that we have served, they have had loved ones in our funeral home, and it hurts me," said funeral home owner Judd Sellars. "I really can't put it into words."

Sellarssaid he willrebuild at the same location,"a bigger and better facility."

The damage estimated is expected to be in the $1 million range.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation, however authorities have ruled out a malfunction of the facility's crematorium -- which in a separate building located at the rear of the funeral home.

The roof of the 10 year-old structure collapsed shortly after the LFD arrived with roofing materials feeding the flames. Fire fighters were still pouring water on hot spots at 8:30 a.m.

Reports indicate the alarm system malfunctioned and the building was just under the minimum square footage requirements for a sprinkler system.

No injuries were reported and according to a member of the Sellars family, there were no bodies on site awaiting services.

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