Swartz Creek — The Miller Road Chapel of Sharp Funeral Homes is completely gone.
It was razed after a May 16 fire destroyed the building. As previously reported, Roger Sharp Sr. said the fire did approximately $3 million in damage. He bought the Swartz Creek property in 1969.
There were 11 decedents in the building at the time of the fire, but Roger Sharp Jr. said they were all safely removed and moved to different funeral home, without affecting arrangements and plans.
Rebuilding has begun.
On Wednesday, Oct. 17, a small crew from ProEx, Inc. was working with heavy equipment on the flattened dirt lot, dotted with utility markers. Near the center are large concrete manholes submerged in the earth.
Their work is the first step to rebuild the chapel. They were working on the sanitary sewer, storm sewer and a little bit of the water main.
Since the fire, the family owned and operated funeral business has been working out of Hill Creek Church on Hill Road in Mundy Township.
Sharp said using their facility has been “working out wonderfully,” in the meantime.
He said they’ve had to adjust some internal procedures to compensate for losing the building, but doubts the clients have been affected.
The new facility will be 17,000 square feet, and “state of the art.” Sharp said they are working with an architect and builder that specialize in funeral homes.
“We have been met with amazing cooperation from the city of Swartz Creek staff and City Council,” he said. “The community as a whole has continued to support us.”
The new building will have two large chapels for funeral and visitations, which can be split for a total of five visitation rooms. There will also be a community, or reception, room for hosting funeral luncheons.