A hearse belonging to Dennie’s Funeral Home caught afire while carrying a body to his funeral along the North Coast Road yesterday.
It was on its way to the funeral of Cyril Valentine in Las Cuevas due to start at 3 pm.
Valentine was to be buried at the La Fillette Cemetary.
According to a police report officers from the San Juan Fire Station received a report at 1 pm that the hearse was on fire in the vicinity of Maracas.
By the time the fire appliances got to the scene, the hearse was engulfed in the flames.
When it was extinguished the vehicle was destroyed and the casket bearing Valentine’s body was said to be scorched.
Police said the two attendees who were in the hearse carrying Valentine’s body were able to exit the hearse in time when they first saw the smoke and before it burst into flames.
Speaking with the Guardian Media, Tyler Dennie, of Dennie’s Funeral Home, confirmed that the hearse was theirs but did not comment further on it. Guardian Media understands that Valentine’s relatives, despite what had happened, decided that they still wanted to proceed with the funeral as planned.
The funeral home provided a replacement coffin and the funeral was able to go on.
A female relative who spoke at the funeral at its start said: “Today is a sad day especially what happened earlier but let bygones be bygones.”
She did not proceed to mention anything further but carried on with the planned programme.