When a fire devastated Sellars Funeral Home on Baddour Parkway in August, owner Judd Sellars would there was little doubt the funeral home would be rebuilt at the same location.
"For the most part, we were set on going back to that location because we had 10 years under our belt, and we had people from all over Middle Tennessee coming in to visit family," he said. "Everyone knew where the location was, so it was kind of a given. I've had a lot of people calling me about when it will be finished. We should be finished rebuilding in about six months."
It's now full speed ahead with the rebuild.
"I just got the call from the city, and they've given us the authority and release to start the block work and start the shell, which is the framing part," Sellars said. "You're fixing to see quite a bit of action there in the next few weeks."
Now, the funeral home rebuild is nearly complete with improvements.
"It was beautiful, but the new place will be incredible," he said. "The chapel will be all glass, and, during a funeral, people will be looking out and see nothing but koi ponds and landscaping."
The building will not only be more ascetically pleasing, but the rebuild will also include some high-tech features.
"In the chapel, a family can do LED lighting in their favorite color to customize the lighting," Sellars said. "I've cut back on a couple of my visitation rooms and turned that area into a big waterway. Down that hallway, you'll see fountains."
About half of the building was engulfed in flames when first responders arrived Aug. 5 around 5 a.m., after a passerby spotted the flames and called 911. There were no bodies inside the building at the time of the blaze. Authorities said there was lightning in the area at the time they believed might be the cause of the fire.
While the fire was a hardship, Sellars chose to use it as an opportunity to make the funeral home better.
"It will be great," he said.
Staff writer Mary Hinds may be reached at 615-444-3952, ext. 45 or firstname.lastname@example.org.