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EPA, Fremont County officials speak on Penrose funeral home demolition

PENROSE, Colo. (KRDO) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Fremont County say that the demolition for the Return to Nature funeral home, where almost 200 decomposing bodies were found decomposing in October, is on track for April 16.

In a press conference held outside the Fremont County Administration Building on Wednesday, Fremont County Coroner Randy Keller stated that prior to the beginning of demolition, there will be a ceremony held for all families who have been victimized in the investigation, at 9 a.m., to help bring much needed closure to the nightmare for so many.

The EPA says that there will be insecticides, rodenticides, as well as a disinfectant that may smell like vinegar, sprayed around and in the building, before the demolition begins.

The building will be taken a part in sections, down to the foundation, which will also be scrapped, as well as several inches of top soil underneath the building footprint.

The debris will be disposed of at an Otero County landfill.

In the meantime, the EPA has been preparing for the demo since April 8. On Wednesday air monitoring devices could be seen surrounding the building, along with a few EPA personnel.

Fremont County Commissioner Kevin Grantham expressed extreme gratitude to the EPA for their assistance in helping organize the clean up of the catastrophe that broke out in the small community of Penrose.

He also applauded the county, state and federal agencies that all pitched a hand in controlling the scene, removed the bodies, identified them, and have worked to now have the building removed.

The demolition is expected to last 10 days, however the future of the property remains unknown.

KRDO13 previously broke down the possibilities of who could end up owning it, or what it could eventually turn into.

The EPA did not have an answer during Wednesday's press conference on whether they'd put a lien on the property due to the costs incurred from the demolition, but did say they're spending at least $200,000 on the project, while unable to provide an exact figure.

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Tyler Cunnington

Tyler is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.


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