National City: Furnace mishap at funeral home releases cremation - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

National City: Furnace mishap at funeral home releases cremation smoke

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NATIONAL CITY (CNS) - A furnace mishap at a South Bay funeral home briefly sent smoke from a crematorium into the air near the interchange of Interstate 5 and state Route 54 interchange Thursday, authorities reported.

An oven door that remained open while in operation for unknown reasons began sending smoke out of a chimney at Cortez Cremations & Funeral Services in the 100 block of West 35th Street in National City shortly after noon, according to fire department officials.

Smoke also escaped into the business before an automated system shut off the furnace, extinguished the fire and sent a chemical air-cleansing agent into the building, said Frank Parra, director of emergency services for the city alongside San Diego Bay.

The accident caused no structural damage or injuries and necessitated no evacuations or road closures, according to Parra. The release of smoke was not believed to have posed any health risks, he said.

Firefighters used large fans to clear the errant air impurities out of the building, the city official said.

The personnel cleared the scene after about 45 minutes.

"It was mitigated pretty quick," Parra said.

It was unclear if the accident resulted from an equipment problem or was due to operator error.

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