Au Sable Forks funeral home ablaze

A fire at the Zaumetzer-Sprague Funeral Home Dec. 13.

A fire at the Zaumetzer-Sprague Funeral Home Dec. 13. Lora Bushy

— Shortly after mourners had left to attend a funeral, the Zaumetzer-Sprague Funeral home was engulfed in flames.

The call for the fire came in around 11:40 a.m. Dec. 13, and was responded to by members of the Au Sable Forks, Jay, Upper Jay and Keeseville Fire Department.

The funeral home is located on College Street in Au Sable Forks, and the fire forced the evacuation of the Au Sable Forks Elementary School.

The business has been family-owned with John Thwaits currently running the operation. It has been a funeral home since 1905.

Jay Town Supervisor Randall “Randy” Douglas said that members of the Jay DPW, who also serve on the fire department, were on the scene quickly and able to get a water source to the fire.

“They responded quickly and have been able to pump water right from the river,” Douglas said.

The town is still working to complete repairs to the water system in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, but Douglas said that there were no signs of infrastructure stress.

“There were no concerns about the water pressure, and it helped that we could pump right from the river,” he said.

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