Funeral home lost to early morning fire
Friday, December 29, 2017 - 4:54pm
A fire in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Dec. 26, destroyed a business in Gibson.
Glascock County EMA Director Mike Lyons said Tuesday about 50 firefighters from several departments responded to the scene at 57 College St. where the fire at Taylor Funeral Home was already threatening a nearby house.
Jerry Taylor owns the funeral home as well as one in Louisville. He said Glascock County Sheriff Jeremy Kelley, also a firefighter, called him about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. Kelley told Taylor he had had a call about a fire at the funeral home.
“He had just received a call. At that time, we didn’t know (the extent of the fire),” Taylor said. He did not know anything except there was a fire.
When he arrived at the funeral home and saw the fire, “It was devastating,” he said.
“There were two residences that were close to the funeral home. Only one received a small amount of damage to the siding. Other than that neither home received any damage,” Kelley said. The funeral home itself did not fare as well.
“It’s a total loss. There was nobody there; there were no bodies there at the time,” the sheriff said.
Glascock County EMA Director Mike Lyons said departments that responded to the scene were from Gibson, Glascock and Jefferson counties, Avera, Stapleton, Wrens and Mitchell.
Lyons said there was one injury.
Wrens Fire Chief Keith Boulineau said one of his firefighters fell off a piece of equipment and broke his arm.
“We got the call at 4:30 a.m.,” he said and added they were on the scene at 4:51 a.m.
“And then we cleared up at 8 a.m.”
Lyons said the other structure that was damaged by the fire was the house behind the funeral home.
“We got the call about 4:27 a.m.; and, we’re still on the scene,” he said several hours later. The firefighters still on the scene at that point were checking hot spots to make sure the fire was completely out and would not flare up again.
Boulineau said when he and his crew left the scene, the building was still at the point where no one could enter it.
“It was still smoldering when we left. When I left, they hadn’t even started the investigation,” he said.
“We’re so thankful nobody was there, nobody got hurt. We’re so thankful we weren’t serving a family at that time,” Taylor said.
“We can still serve families in Glascock County,” he said.
On the day of the fire about 2 p.m., Taylor said he had gotten calls from other funeral homes in the area as well as churches offering him space for him to use if needed.
“We’ll still serve families in Glascock County,” he said.