A Mid-Michigan funeral home was left in shambles after a massive fire.
It happened about 10 p.m. Wednesday at Sharp Funeral Home off Miller Road in Swartz Creek.
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Firefighters from multiple departments across Genesee County battled flames and heavy smoke for hours.
"As more buildings and more additions are put on it causes voids in the building and that's where most of the fire was traveling and getting stuck in. We thought we had it under control at one point and then it broke through to another void and into another section," Swartz Creek Fire Chief David Plumb said.
While no injuries were reported, Plumb said there were 11 bodies in a refrigeration system that had to be moved to other Sharp facilities.
"The walk-in cooler was very secure and was able to contain everything until we were able to remove them," he said.
The bodies were taken to other Sharp funeral service locations.
Plumb said now that the flames have subsided an investigation will begin as the cause of the fire is still unknown.
“This is probably the most devastating fire we’ve had in our community. This is a major loss to this area,” Plumb said.
He hopes the community will provide a helping hand to the Sharp family.
“They've been here for as long as I’ve been alive. He's always been a wonderful contribution to the community, always helped out the community when they needed it, so I hope the community comes out and supports him with this."
The building is a total loss.
Plumb said the owner plans to rebuild.
"This hurt. It really hurt," said Roger Sharp, president of Sharp Funeral Homes.
Sharp said his family is shocked and devastated one of their funeral homes was ravaged by a violent fire.
"We all came out here to support the fire departments and now we're just trying to regroup," Sharp said.
Residents are sad to see such a local staple covered in ashes.
"Hopefully they can get the funerals figured out. I wish them luck on that. And I hope the family that owns this place can rebuild or hopefully fix this place," said Isabel Beedy, resident.
Sharp said the funeral home will see to it that all of the families still get the funerals they deserve at their other locations as the same original times.
"We will continue to operate our other locations. We have three Sharp Funeral Homes across Genesee County. We can service all of them. We've had an outpouring of support from the church community here in Swartz Creek that have offered their buildings. We plan on helping out as many people as we can, even as we deal with this disaster," Sharp said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Anyone with questions about their loved one's service following the fire can contact 810-239-8800.
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