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SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - The urn containing the cremated remains of Korean War veteran John Benson, Sr., have been located in the rubble that once was the Lyerly Funeral Home.
A fire that started in the furnace on Friday destroyed the funeral home. Benson's remains, as well as those of two sisters were still in the funeral home at the time of the fire and could not be retrieved.
While the sister's remains were in coffins and were located and removed on Saturday, the urn was harder to find.
"I got in there digging," funeral home owner Brent Lyerly told WBTV. "I wanted closure for his family the best I could get, I prayed and prayed and prayed and so we found it. This can now let us move forward."
Lyerly also recovered a burned American flag that had been on the display next to the urn.
Lyerly told WBTV that the urn can't be used, so on Tuesday he ordered a replacement, as well as a new flag that he plans to present to Benson's family.
"The families have been so good through all of this," Lyerly said. "Hopefully this be some kind of a positive note in all of this.
The Lyerly Funeral Home is a Salisbury institution, established by Brent Lyerly's father, James, in 1957. The building that burned on Friday was built in 1964.
Lyerly is now talking to real estate agents about possible locations for the funeral home until the permanent site can be rebuilt.
"The old A & P property is a possibility," Lyerly told WBTV. He was referring to the lot across the street from the current location that recently has been a Salvation Army thrift store.