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'Freak accident' at crematory as 'overly obese' body burns, owner says

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(Getty Images/Christopher Furlong)

CINCINNATI – An Ohio crematory had what it called a “freak accident” this week after the body of an “overly obese” person intensified flames, which eventually got out of control, the business owner said.

"My operator was in the process of cremating remains and (the body) was overly obese and apparently it got a little hotter than the unit is supposed to get," Don Catchen, owner of the Hillside Chapel, said.

Cincinnati Fire Chief Michael Washington explained to WCPO that containers near where the body was being cremated caught fire after the body burned at a higher temperature than usual.

So why did this happen? As WCPO quoted Caleb Wilde, a licensed professional who runs the blog Confessions of a Funeral Director, "As you may realize, when a morbidly obese person is cremated, there's a danger of what can only be called (in layman's terms) a 'grease fire.'"

No one was hurt in the fire, and no other bodies were affected. 

In 2014, the cremation of a 500-pound body led to a fire that burned out of control at a crematorium in Virginia.


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