At least 7 bodies burned in funeral home fire

March 11, 2008 3:59:59 PM PDT
A fire damaged a South Side funeral home Tuesday morning.

The small fire was confined to one room at the Leak & Sons Funeral Home. However, it did cause damage to an important area of the facility.

Leak & Sons is a very well established funeral home on the South Side. It has been in operation for about 75 years. As you can imagine, they are also quite busy. Fortunately, the fire Tuesday morning was confined to a room in the back of the home. It was put out rather quickly. No one was hurt. It did not affect a part of the home that was used for services.

"It's more difficult now than it was than the fact that he was killed," said Angela Jackson. "it's like it's a double murder."

Jackson lost her brother-in-law in a shooting Sunday night. The family received a call Tuesday morning that a fire had burned the body and at least six others in a prep room at the home.

"He was burned bad enough where they had to have a closed casket," Jackson said. "They're not letting us view his body right now. They say we've got to wait until the medical examiners come.

"Our chapel is operational, so therefore, all of the services planned for our chapel will go forward," said Spencer Leak Sr., funeral home president.

Leak said staff spent the day talking to families whose remains were burned.

"They were devastated of course," said Spencer Leak. "But they said to me, 'Mr. Leak, we rbrought our lovd one here, we want to continue, we want to have the arrangements, and we're going to have the arrangements.'"

As for the services that were scheduled for Tuesday, a spokesperson for the funeral home says they had five, and they are going ahead with all of them.

"We're not postponing or delaying. We did have two funeral services this morning that, because of there being so many people around, that out of respect for the families, we did send them to churches, but all of our funeral services will be operational today," said Donna Leak, Leak & Sons Funeral Home.

Families were seen Tuesday arriving to make arrangements for their own loved ones, and so it does appear that Leak & Sons is doing its best to work through this situation.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.