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Fire at crematorium not suspicious: RCMP

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A backhoe begins the task of demolishing what was left of the crematorium on Wilkes Avenue following a fire there Friday.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

A backhoe begins the task of demolishing what was left of the crematorium on Wilkes Avenue following a fire there Friday. Photo Store

An electrical fire caused Friday night's blaze at a crematorium owned by Wojcik's Funeral Chapel and Crematorium Inc., RCMP said Sunday.

"The investigation into the cause of the fire at Wojcik's crematorium is not suspicious. The fire was electrical in nature," said Sgt. Rob Lockhart.

Lockhart said bodies awaiting cremation at the facility on Wilkes Avenue in the RM of Headingley were recovered.

"RCMP, along with Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner, confirm the recovery of predeceased remains, which were at the site awaiting cremation," he said.

"The number of predeceased remains located at the crematorium will not be provided out of respect to the families of those who had their loved ones there."

No one from Wojcik's responded to requests for comment on how many bodies were there waiting for cremation or what the funeral home is doing for their bereaved customers, whose loved ones' remains were affected.

The damage is estimated at $1 million, and no one was injured in the fire, Lockhart said.

This weekend, a backhoe was demolishing what was left of the crematorium on a stark stretch of Wilkes Avenue west of the Perimeter Highway.

The shell of a burned-out car could be seen among the charred remains of the building.

Headingley's volunteer fire department responded to the fire call at 8:15 p.m. on Friday but, when they arrived at the scene, it was too late to save it, said Chief Doug Hansen.

"It was totally involved upon our arrival," Hansen said.

He said they didn't know how many bodies were kept in the facility, waiting to be cremated.

 

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 12, 2013 B1

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