When his funeral home caught fire in the middle of the night, Nebraska man Bill Cutler left the comfort of his own home to save the bodies of the deceased.
“I was worried about the folks we had in the building,” Cutler told the World-Herald of his Omaha, Nebraska, funeral home.
Firefighters arrived at the funeral home around 3:20 a.m. on Jan. 26, shortly before Cutler appeared on the scene. After the Fire Department assessed the situation, they let Cutler go in.
Cutler and a firefighter entered the building to see if it was possible to remove the deceased. Although nine deceased people were inside, Cutler said they couldn’t be reached.
About three minutes into the search, a falling ceiling knocked both Cutler and the fireman down, KMTV notes. The accident caused a bloody gash to Cutler’s forehead, which required 15 stitches at the Nebraska Medical Center
“That’s Bill,” Terry Kucera, one of the mortuary’s longtime funeral directors, told the World-Herald. “They were very important to him because they were important to the people we know and serve.”
According to officials, the crematory was destroyed by a fire that started with an explosion. The cause is not suspicious, Cutler noted.
Later in the day, mortuary workers began removing the bodies of the deceased. Although Cutler noted that funerals would proceed as planned, some burials would have to take place later.
Cutler added that he was grateful no one was hurt. He and his partner, Tom Heafey, said that they hope to rebuild Heafey Hoffmann Dworak & Cutler funeral home immediately.