Twelve Fire Companies Battle Pennsylvania Mausoleum Fire

It took firefighters from 12 companies several hours to put out a blaze in a mausoleum, and officials were unsure whether any crypts were destroyed.


ROCHESTER, Pa. (AP) -- It took firefighters from 12 companies several hours to put out a blaze in a mausoleum, and officials were unsure whether any crypts were destroyed.

Family members of those interred at Sylvania Hills Mausoleum in Daugherty Township, about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, arrived looking for answers after hearing about the overnight fire.

``I just want to know if the crypts are OK, if the crypts were damaged,'' said Thelma Seidler, whose husband was interred last month.

The fire was mostly in a high, peaked roof on a chapel.

A state police fire marshal said the vast majority of about 5,000 crypts inside were intact, but that there was some smoke and soot damage.

Rochester Township Fire Chief Michael Mamone said the caskets are protected by thick concrete crypts.

``Everything's in concrete, so I guess it's safe to say everything should be intact,'' Mamone said.

The fire was reported about 8 p.m. Thursday.

Its cause wasn't immediately determined, but officials said it didn't appear to be suspicious.