HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - Gross Funeral Home, a landmark in this
central Arkansas resort city, was heavily damaged Wednesday by a
blaze that took firefighters several hours to bring under control.
City Fire Marshal Ed Davis said no one was in the building when
the fire broke out about 6 p.m. It was brought under control about
10 p.m. A firefighter was taken to a hospital for treatment of heat
stress, Davis said.
Davis declined to speculate on the cause of the fire, but said
it began in a part of the building that was close to the
crematorium, which was in use at the time the blaze began.
Davis said Wednesday night that the funeral home and its parent
company, Griffin Leggett, were in the process of recovering remains
of bodies that had been in the building in preparation for funeral
services.
Gross Funeral Home was established in downtown Hot Springs in
1874, and was bought by Griffin Leggett in 1972. Jamie Calhoun,
general manager, said the company bought the colonial-style
structure that burned Wednesday in 1981 and renovated it to become
a funeral home.
The building was originally erected in the 1940s as a family
residence.


(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)