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State shuts down Flint funeral home that smelled of "decomposing bodies"

The Swanson Funeral Home sign in front of its Flint building.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

State regulators have shut down a Flint funeral home for keeping bodies in unspeakably bad conditions.

On its website,Swanson Funeral Hometalks about it serving the local community for more than a half century, honoring the dead, and respecting the living.

But according to the state Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau, funeral home employees left  human bodies stored in an un-air-conditioned garage, in some cases for up to five months.

Other violations include an unsanitary preparation room without equipment or supplies necessary for embalming, and blood and fluid stained casket pillows were laying in the hallway.

For these and other health and occupational code violations, the state has shut down Swanson.

“Michigan residents trust funeral home directors, owners, and their establishments to follow the law especially when dealing with the death of a loved one,” said CSCL Director Julia Dale.

The funeral home faces a $10,000 fine for each violation.

The CSCL is asking members of the public who are in the process of or have used the services of Swanson Funeral Home and have questions or concerns regarding the operation of the home to call 517-241-7000.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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