Investigators: Longmont mortuary fire was started by arson

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LONGMONT, Colo. — The Howe Mortuary, which burned to the ground early Tuesday morning, was destroyed by arson, investigators have determined.

A nearby dumpster was set ablaze directly beneath an overhang containing an exhaust fan outlet, which allowed the fire to quickly spread into the attic and through the roof of the building, the Longmont Department of Public safety reported Thursday.

“The team of Investigators have ruled out all accidental causes after a careful and systematic examination of the electrical and natural gas connections,” the department said in a media release. “The team has also determined there was nothing present in the dumpster that could have combusted spontaneously and concluded the fire was set by someone.”

Seven bodies in the mortuary at the time have all been recovered and identified, the Boulder County Coroner's Office said.

The owner of the mortuary, Geoff Howe, said on his company’s website that he plans to reconstruct the facility, in business for 115 years.

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