1. ITV Report

Plymouth's Efford Crematorium may not reopen until April following New Year's Eve fire

The crematorium needs a new roof installed following the fire. Credit: ITV West Country

Plymouth's Efford Crematorium may not reopen until April after it was damaged in a fire on New Year's Eve.

All funeral services had to be cancelled after the fire, which broke out in the roof of the building just after 12:30pm on 31 December 2019.

Emergency crews had to use an aerial platform to fight the blaze, in which no-one was injured.

Plymouth City Council has revealed it may not be open again until April. Credit: ITV West Country

The latest update from Plymouth City Council is that the repair work to the building may not be finished until the end of March, meaning services may not resume until April.

Staff from the crematorium on Efford Road say they are working extra hours trying to accommodate extra services at Weston Mill.

The full update from Plymouth City Council:

We promised to keep everyone updated on our plans following the blaze at Efford Crematorium on New Year’s Eve and now have a clearer picture of what needs to be done and how long it will take. We've been talking to contractors and our own teams and have been advised that because of the ongoing investigations, scaffolding and installing a new roof, the repair work may not be completed until the end of March. We hope to carry out work on the cremators and other equipment at the same time as the building work with the aim of Efford Crematorium being back in operation in April. These are only our initial thoughts and may change once we have had results of the fire and forensic investigations and a full test of the cremators carried out. We're trying to accommodate as many additional services at Weston Mill and are working longer hours. We can also offer services on Saturday morning if all services are booked during the week. As it is still quite dark early in the evenings, we have installed lights on the drive and around the waiting room and flower viewing area at Weston Mill for services later in the day. Once again, thank you to all the funeral directors and families who have been so understanding in this situation.

– Plymouth City Council

The Council has stressed the plans may change once a full investigation has been carried out.