BUFFALO, NY - When the United Memorial & Moss Funeral Home on Bailey Avenue went up in flames in January 2011, it did not destroy the cremated remains in boxes inside a a storage room.
The president of the Erie Niagara Funeral Directors Association says the funeral director should have retrieved the cremated remains were left in the building.
The building will soon be demolished. 2 On Your Side reached out to the New York State Health Department to see if an investigation will launched by the Bureau of Funeral Directing, which it oversees, however, they never responded to our request.
Charles Curtin, president of the local Funeral Directors group says he the state is checking into the matter and that the cremains found may go back several years. "The Bureau of Funeral Directing is trying to get a list of all the cremains that were at that funeral home," said Curtin. He believed that some of the cremains belonged to the previous owner of the funeral home, he now says the Bureau says all of the cremains belonged to United Memorial & Moss. He believes that the last Funeral Director, Rinaldo Moss, had a responsibility to get those cremains out.
A funeral home is required to keep cremated remains for 120 days, according to Curtin, but a funeral home can not withhold cremated remains until a bill is paid off.
Curtin says the Erie Niagara Funeral Directors will also try to help families with questions.