Millsboro funeral home fire ruled accidental

Damage is estimated at $350,000 after a March 1 fire at Bennie Smith Funeral Home in Millsboro. SOURCE SUBMITTED
March 6, 2014

A March 1 fire at Bennie Smith Funeral Home in Millsboro was accidental, the state fire marshal says.

The Delaware State Fire Marshal's office determined the fire started in the first-floor ceiling and was caused by an electrical malfunction in branch circuit wiring, said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Harry R. Miller.

The total damage was estimated at $350,000, he said.

The Millsboro Volunteer Fire Co. responded to a building fire on Washington Street. Upon arrival, heavy smoke was showing from the second floor and attic of the funeral home, which was built in the late 1800s, according to the Millsboro Volunteer Fire Co. website. Crews worked for several hours to extinguish the fire, which had traveled throughout the balloon construction structure.

Millsboro was assisted by the Georgetown, Dagsboro, Gumboro, Frankford, and Indian River fire companies. The Roxana Fire Company also responded with its rehab unit.