Investigators: Lyerly Funeral Home fire began in furnace

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 17, 2012

SALISBURY — Fire investigators said the cause of Friday’s fire at Lyerly Funeral Home was “failure of a furnace system.”
Salisbury Fire Marshal Terry Smith said in a press release that the fire was accidental and began in a mechanical room.
Investigators began using heavy machinery to dig through the remaining rubble of Lyerly Funeral Home on South Main Street Monday.
Brent Lyerly, president of the funeral home, and other staff members said the fire started just after they turned on the furnace Friday morning.
Emergency crews were dispatched about 12:20 p.m. after smoke began billowing from the ventilation system.
Firefighters quickly changed course and began fighting the fire from a defensive standpoint.
A ladder truck was still dumping water on the smoldering funeral home Friday evening.
Investigators from Salisbury Fire, Salisbury Police, the State Bureau of Investigation’s arson unit and the funeral home’s insurance carrier were at the scene Monday afternoon.