As an Omaha funeral home went up in flames early Tuesday morning, a co-owner Bill Cutler’s main concern was for the families of the nine deceased individuals inside.
At one point during the fire, Cutler and a firefighter went inside Heafey-Heafey-Hoffman-Dworak-Cutler Funeral Home at 78th and Center Street to see if they could retrieve the deceased, but minutes later a portion of the ceiling collapsed. Cutler suffered a cut to his head that required fifteen stitches. The situation was more stable by Tuesday afternoon.
“The fire department was able to remove everyone late yesterday so everyone in our care at this time and all the services that were planned will proceed as scheduled,” according to Cutler.
Cutler and his associates own several funeral homes in the Omaha metro area and the deceased were taken to those facilities.
Cutler says, “Our families have just been remarkable. Just like everyone in the community they have been very supportive and understand the process they have had to go through.”
Cutler says funeral homes in Omaha and Council Bluffs reached out and offered their assistance in any way possible.
The cause of the fire is not known. Cutler says he and his associates plan to rebuild.
The estimated damage and the building and contents exceeds $2-million.