Smoke spewing from Scottsdale crematory concerning neighbors

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by Crystal Cruz

azfamily.com

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 5:26 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 18 at 9:03 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Steven and Lee Ein’s neighbor wrote a public notice and dropped it off at their home along with some pictures of black smoke coming from Paradise Memorial Gardens and Crematory in Scottsdale.

"I saw it (the notice) when I got home last week and it was pretty disgusting to think about it," said Lee.

The Ein's are now concerned about their health.

"It's not like there are pieces of bones flying through the air but its soot, soot from anywhere isn't pleasant," said Lee.

The public notice suggests the soot is human soot, something Responsible Cremationist Jim Ahearne denied.

"It is not human soot," Ahearne told 3TV.

Ahearne has worked at Paradise Memorial Gardens for more than 40 years and runs the crematory.

He described what happened two weeks ago as "probably the worst incident that we've had."

"We had a very large individual, just under 800 pounds, that was cremated and it did smoke and it smoked for about a half hour and it was bad smoke," Ahearne added.

The Cremationist notified Maricopa County Air Quality Department (MCAQD) who is now investigating.

"We've asked for records. We've asked for a scheduling of when they burn, we've sent inspectors out there many times," MCAQD spokesperson Bob Huhn said.

According to Huhn, the crematory was issued a citation in 2009 for not maintaining proper records.

Management with the crematory assured 3TV they’re working with MCAQD to get the smoke issue sorted.

"It does smoke once in a while. We're allowed 30 seconds of smoke but hopefully we don't even have that most of the time, but sometimes it will smoke," said Ahearne.

Paradise Memorial Gardens cremates more than 3,000 people each year.

According to Ahearne the crematory smokes only a handful of times per year.

Contact www.maricopa.gov/aq if you see smoke coming from the building.

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