WHEELING – The chilly snap throughout Christmas weekend triggered about seven pipes to freeze after which burst, flooding the within of Kepner Funeral House’s South Wheeling location.
The funeral house is now within the strategy of drying out the constructing with assist from Panhandle Cleansing and Restoration, mentioned Jim Kepner, president of Kepner Funeral House.
“The Tuesday after Christmas somebody was strolling their canine previous the funeral residence and observed water popping out of the second flooring and the doorways,” Kepner mentioned. “It was popping out laborious. They realized we have been in hassle and known as 911.”
Kepner mentioned the Wheeling Fireplace Division’s South Wheeling station, which is close to the funeral residence, responded shortly. Nevertheless, since there was a number of ft of water within the basement they might not attain the water fundamental shutoff. The water needed to be shut off on the road degree.
“We had in all probability six to seven pipes break on the third flooring,” he mentioned. “It ran a pair days. … It gushed out and headed down the third, second and first flooring. There was seven ft of water within the basement.”
Kepner mentioned the fireplace division was tasked with pumping the water out of the basement.
The deluge of water triggered a lot harm contained in the constructing.
“All of the partitions and ceilings are destroyed,” Kepner mentioned. “Hats off to the fireplace division for being there instantly.”
Kepner mentioned like every enterprise the corporate has insurance coverage on the constructing, however he’s not certain but if it’s going to cowl all of the bills of fixing it. He famous it may take a pair years earlier than it’s utterly completed, however there isn’t a actual timetable but.
“We don’t see it reopening within the foreseeable future. It should be reworked, but it surely should be completely gutted earlier than we will try this,” Kepner mentioned.
“The unhappy factor about it’s that it’s a historic construction that may by no means get again to the place it was,” he mentioned, including Panhandle helps to sift via what’s salvageable.
The South Wheeling location was initially a funeral residence operated by the Cooey Bentz firm, which was additionally within the furnishings enterprise within the neighborhood. Kepner mentioned his firm has operated the South Wheeling location for many years.
He mentioned individuals who had pre-arranged funerals for the South Wheeling location have been despatched letters explaining what occurred and the 4 different places they might select from. Kepner’s has funeral houses within the downtown, Elm Grove, Warwood and Woodsdale.
“Individuals have been very gracious. There was an outpouring of assist,” he mentioned. “Panhandle has been phenomenal and the fireplace division’s response time was unbelievable.”
Kepner mentioned the corporate has had a pipe break throughout previous winters, however nothing like this winter’s occasion.
“This was simply the wind so chilly and blowing. We’ve by no means had it to this extent,” he mentioned.
The deep freeze throughout Christmastime included temperatures dipping beneath zero with windchills at occasions hitting 35 levels beneath zero.
“It’s nonetheless within the toddler levels. Now we have to see easy methods to put it again collectively,” he famous of the approaching work.