Skip to comments.Blaze engulfs furniture warehouse, killing 9 firefighters (Charleston, SC)
Posted on 06/19/2007 5:09:17 AM PDT by Livin_large
Fire swept through a furniture warehouse, collapsing the building's roof and claiming the lives of nine firefighters in a disaster the mayor described Tuesday as "difficult to fathom or quantify."
"Nine brave, heroic, courageous firefighters of the city of Charleston have perished fighting fire in a most courageous and fearless manner, carrying out their duties," Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley said at a morning news conference. "To all of their loved ones, our heart goes out to them."
Two employees in the building were rescued from the blaze, which broke out at about 7 p.m. Monday in the Sofa Super Store and warehouse, Riley said.
Overnight, firefighters, police officers and other rescue workers saluted as the bodies were carried from the warehouse.
"To lose nine is just a tragedy of immense proportions," Riley said. "To lose nine is just unbelievable."
Riley said the county coroner planned to disclose the names of the dead. The cause of the fire was under investigation, but Riley said arson was not suspected. He said the blaze apparently started in a storage area but was unsure whether there were sprinklers in the building.
Witnesses said the store's roof collapsed, throwing debris over about two-dozen rescue workers. Onlookers were hit with flying ash.
(Excerpt) Read more at thestate.com ...
Oh how awful
Aa friend up here with Greer FD called me just now, they can’t find out anything and he’s asking me. My boss’ son is Charleston FD engine 8, we don’t know what company responded to the fire. I haven’t heard anything from my boss yet, pray her son is OK.
Anybody in Chas have any idea what station responded to the fire?
I recall several years ago when we lost many firefighters in a warehouse fire in Worcester, MA. The funeral was huge. I hope these guys get similar treatment.
Prayers out to the families. RIP, Charleston firefighters.
I’m seeing now it was the West Ashley store that burned.
Hoping that means he’s OK- I think his engine company is downtown.
The identities will be coming shortly. We had a loss in our immediate family. Thank you for your kind thoughts.
I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers for your family.
I am so sorry. May God be with you in this time, and with all of the families.
So very sorry for your loss and the loss of the other firefighters. May God comfort and console as all of you deal with the loss.
Can someone in the know explain what standard policy is when fighting a fire in an apparently unoccupied building? Why send nine healthy people in search of hypothetical victims? This seems like such a waste.
“Can someone in the know explain what standard policy is when fighting a fire in an apparently unoccupied building? Why send nine healthy people in search of hypothetical victims? This seems like such a waste.”
I agree. Once it’s determined that there’s no one to rescue in a building, especially a commercial building, I see no reason to risk firefighters’ lives trying to save contents that are going to be written off by insurers any way. You fight the fire enough to keep it from spreading.
It wasn’t unoccupied. At least 2 and possibly 4 employees were rescued.
My boss forwarded me this email from her daughter-in-law:
I would like to first like to say that Bill is SAFE/UNINJURED!
Last night 9 local fire fighters with the City of Charleston Fire Department have lost their lives in the line of duty after a sofa store caught on fire.
I would like to thank each of you that has called to check on our family.
Bill was NOT on duty last night but did go in. He didn’t get home until after 4 am. 2 fire stations lost BOTH of their crews. Station #16 and #19.
Please take a moment to pray for those families that lost loved ones.
The Fireman’s Prayer
When I am called to duty, God,
Where’re the flames may rage,
Give me strength to save some life
Whatever be its age.
Help me embrace a little child
Before it is too late,
Or save some older person from
The horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert,
And hear the weakest shout
And quickly and effectively
To put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling
And give the best in me.
To guard my every neighbor
And protect his property;
And if according to Your will,
I have to lose my life
Please bless with Your protecting hand
My children and my wife.
The firefighters had already saved some folks, and from what I've heard were trying to clear the building of other people, save what they could, and prevent the fire from spreading (there was a gas station next door among other things). My understanding is that an assessment had been made that the building was good for five minutes, but the ceiling had the catastrophic collapse after only two.
The mayor mentioned on the news this morning that the double ceiling probably concealed the extent of the fire in the upper part of the building from the inside.
I expect that the department will take a close look at firefighting tactics after this.
Firefighters broke a hole in the wall, entered and rescued 2 employee’s, re-entered to verify no more employee’s were left inside when the roof collapsed.
Do not question the professionals, when you have no concept of what is going on. Lack of information made your post sound negative and stupid.
You have a nice day too!