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06-19-07, 10:44 AM #1
S.C. Warehouse Fire Kills 9 Firefighters
Very Tragic... RIP
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- 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. Firefighters punched a hole through a wall of the warehouse to reach them.
Firefighters, police officers and other rescue workers saluted as the bodies were carried from the warehouse during the night.
"To lose nine is just a tragedy of immense proportions," Riley said. "To lose nine is just unbelievable."
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. He was unsure whether there were sprinklers in the building.
Riley said the county coroner would announce the names of the dead.
Witnesses said the store's roof collapsed, throwing debris over about two-dozen rescue workers. Onlookers were hit with flying ash.
"It was like a 30-foot tornado of flames," said Mark Hilton, who was struck in his eye.
Eric Glover told CNN that he and a number of other firefighters were at a golf tournament to benefit the family of a firefighter who had recently died when they heard the call come over their scanners. By the time he arrived, he said, the roof had already collapsed.
"It all happened pretty fast. They didn't really have a chance," Glover said.
"You're always close to the guys because you spend a third of your life with these guys. Every third day you spend 24 hours there, so you get real close," he said.
Firefighters went to a nearby car dealership asking for towels, said salesman Daniel Shahid.
"The next thing you know, we were carrying hoses, directing traffic, everybody from the dealership," he said.
Shahid said he saw firefighters rescue four people from the building.
"They were struggling. They were covered in black soot. They looked scared out of their minds," Shahid said.
He later told CNN the roof collapsed too quickly for anyone to escape.
"It came from nowhere," he said. "It was a standing structure and five seconds later it was on the ground."
Riley called the firefighters heroes.
"This is a profession that we must never take for granted," the mayor said. "There's a fire raging and they go toward it."
On Tuesday morning, flowers were left on the sidewalk in front of the wreckage of the one-story furniture store and its adjacent, slightly taller warehouse, both of which continued to smolder.
The buildings are located on what residents here refer to as the "auto mile," a commercial strip of car dealers, body shops and stereo installers.
"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."
Since Jan. 2009
06-19-07, 10:49 AM #2
Rest in peace.
06-19-07, 03:57 PM #3
Man that sucks...
I wonder how big they're department is.No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13
"The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".
We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.
06-19-07, 07:01 PM #4
My condolences to the families and to their department. Will keep you all in my prayers.
A smile cost nothing, but gives so much.
It enriches those who receive it,without making poorer those who give.It takes but a moment, but the memoryof it sometimes lasts forever.
None is so rich or mighty that hecan get along without it,and none is so poor but thathe can be made rich by it.
A smile creates happiness in the home,fosters goodwill in business,and is the countersign of friendship.
It brings rest to the weary,cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad,and it is nature's best antidote for trouble.
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed,or stolen, for it is something that is of novalue to anyone until it is given away.
Some people are too tired to give you a smile.Give them one of yours, as none needs a smileso much as he who has no more to give.
- author unknown
06-19-07, 07:21 PM #5GrasshopperVerified LEO
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That is terrible. RIP. Imagine an incident where nine LEO lost their lives? Wow. Prayers to the families and the survivors.And Shepards we shall be,
for thee, My Lord, for thee,
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
And teeming with souls will it ever be.
In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.
06-19-07, 07:36 PM #6Corporal
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FireFighter Micheal French 1 year veteran
FireFighter James Drayton 32 year veteran
FireFighter Bradford Baity 9 year veteran
FireFighter Mark Kelsey 12 year veteran
Captain Louis Mulkey 11 year veteran
Captain Micheal Benke 20 year veteran
Captain William Hutchison 30 year veteran
FireFighter Melvin Champaign 2 year veteran
FireFighter Brandon Thompson 4 year veteran.
May they rest in peace
06-20-07, 06:50 AM #7
Truly tragic. May they rest in peace.To be born an Englishman, is to be a winner in the Lottery of Life.
I've Talked the Talk and I've Walked the Walk, now I Sit the Sit!
06-20-07, 08:01 AM #8Corporal
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06-20-07, 09:27 AM #9
That's very sad. RIP.
06-20-07, 09:36 AM #10
Awful!The opinions given in my posts DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Beans" on LEF.
06-20-07, 09:40 AM #11
I agree, that's very sad My thoughts and prayers go out to their families and departments. RIP
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia
06-20-07, 07:26 PM #12
It's such a horrific day for that community, 9 guys go off to do their bit for their community and it ends in tragedy. Prayers for all those effected.
Heís the guy next door - a manís man with the memory of a little boy. He has never gotten over the excitement of engines and sirens and danger. Heís a guy like you and me with warts and worries and unfulfilled dreams. Yet he stands taller than most of us.
Heís a fireman. He puts it all on the line when the bell rings. A fireman is at once the most fortunate and the least fortunate of men. Heís a man who saves lives because he has seen too much death. Heís a gentle man because he has seen the awesome power of violence out of control.
Heís responsive to a childís laughter because his arms have held too many small bodies that will never laugh again. Heís a man who appreciates the simple pleasures of life - hot coffee held in numb, unbending fingers - a warm bed for bone and muscle compelled beyond feeling - the camaraderie of brave men - the divine peace and selfless service of a job well done in the name of all men.
He doesnít wear buttons or wave flags or shout obscenities. When he marches, it is to honor a fallen comrade. He doesnít preach the brotherhood of man. He lives it.
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