(NEW YORK) — Investigators say a fire that nearly destroyed an Austrian crematorium began when the excessive body fat of an obese dead woman clogged the facility’s air filters, causing overheating that resulted in the blaze.
Officials determined that the fire, which occurred mid-April at a crematorium in the city of Graz, was caused by the burning corpse of the 440-pound woman. The body was being cremated when the blaze began, the Daily Mail reported.
Firefighters who were combating the blaze had their protective clothing covered in a layer of greasy soot, the newspaper also said.
“Crematorium officials need to be more responsible and not just automatically put everybody in to be cremated,” Graz-based fireman Otto Widetschek said, according to the paper.
Similar fires caused by the cremation of obese bodies have been reported in Switzerland. That country apparently has special extra-large facilities to handle the cremation of obese bodies, Widetschek said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Joshua Berlinger, Marilia Brocchetto and Fernando Ramos, CNN
KJ Kwon and Ben Westcott, CNN
Ben Westcott, CNN
Billy Hallowell, Deseret News