Fire damages local funeral home

By Mark Richard

A fire Monday night at Adkins Family Funeral Home in Portsmouth did significant damage to the interior of the building, but according to owner TJ Adkins, the structure is sound.

The cause of the fire is yet to be determined as investigators are searching for the cause, but Adkins said there was an antique Coke machine in the vicinity where the fire started. “We don’t know the cause,” Adkins told the Daily Times Tuesday afternoon. “The State Fire Marshal is there now with the (Portsmouth) fire chief looking it over.”

Adkins said he wants to let everyone know that he will still be in operation, while he remodels the building at 1503 Offnere St., Portsmouth. He said he is talking to some area churches about having services there until the building is back up and running. “We hope to be back at our Offnere Street location as soon as possible.”

Adkins said he has not entered the building since the fire. He said it started Monday evening and rekindled Tuesday morning. He said from what he was told, there is significant smoke and water damage, noting all the drywall and carpeting will need replaced. He noted the firefighters said it looks like there is no actual structure damage to the floor joists in the area of the fire.

The fire started in the middle of the building, according to Adkins who was positive saying “It’s not a total loss. We’ll be back.”

Adkins said his office phone, 740-354-3201, will still be operable during the rebuilding phase.

According to the report from the fire department, the initial blaze was called in at 11:03 pm Monday. Companies 2 and 3 were dispatched with a total of nine firefighters and five vehicles. The fire Monday night was extinguished at 12:53 am Tuesday, according to the report.

No injuries were reported on the Monday night blaze. The report for the Tuesday morning rekindle was not readily available as of press time Tuesday evening.

By Mark Richard