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fatal fire in South Carolina

We honor the lives of the Charleston Firefighters who were killed yesterday:

Fire Captain William "Billy" Hutchinson-Age: 48-Years with department: 30
Fire Captain Mike Benke-Age: 49 -Years with department: 29 years
Fire Captain Louis Mulkey -Age: 34 -Years with department: 11 1/2 years
Fire Engineer Mark Kelsey -Age: 40 Years with department: 12 1/2 years
Fire Engineer Bradford "Brad" Baity, Age: 37 -Years with department: 9
Fire Assistant Engineer Michael French-Age: 27-Years with department: 1 1/2 years
Firefighter James "Earl" Drayton-Age: 56-Years with department: 32 years
Firefighter Brandon Thompson-Age: 27-Years with department: Four years
Firefighter Melven Champaign-Age: 46-Years with department: Two years

UPDATE: raw video from the fire can be seen here:


( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 20th, 2007 06:14 am (UTC)
God bless 'em, every one.
Jun. 20th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 20th, 2007 10:36 pm (UTC)
yes, it was in a "superstore" -- a large warehouse, in this case housing a furniture outlet. Lot of what we call "fire load": wood, plastics, and various furniture coverings and stuffings that generate a lot of smoke and heat. No fire sprinkler system, naturally, and it appears the department was undermanned because of budget cuts. Here's a link to raw video taken at the fire:

(Deleted comment)
Jun. 21st, 2007 12:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks, it's much appreciated.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 20th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
thanks -- and mine, too.
Jun. 20th, 2007 09:57 am (UTC)
That is terrible.

Heroes are the souls we should never lose.
Jun. 20th, 2007 10:38 pm (UTC)
Well said.
Jun. 20th, 2007 12:23 pm (UTC)
Such a tragedy - my sympathies are with their families and fellow firefighters. I am so in awe of you and firefighters everywhere who continue to do such a dangerous job.
Jun. 20th, 2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
Thanks. It appears to have been a building collapse in this case, although the exact particulars are, of course, still under investigation.
Jun. 20th, 2007 12:24 pm (UTC)
Oh how sad - what happened to them?
Jun. 20th, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
I don't know a lot of detail still, but it appears that they were able to enter to begin an offensive operation and got caught in a collapse. From the look of the building it had a truss roof, which fails notoriously easily when attacked by fire (and there's no fire sprinkler system). There's raw video here:


But all it tells me so far is that they were undermanned (notice the police and off-duty firefighters helping in the attack).
Jun. 20th, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC)
That is awful - allowing a sofa superstore to not have a sprinkler system sounds like very negligent legislation. And I see what you mean about the off-duty firefighters too.
Jun. 21st, 2007 03:26 am (UTC)
negligent legislation
The construction industry has lots of money to throw around in Washington, D.C.; the fire service isn't a for profit organization. After that, the math is easy. :-(
Jun. 20th, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
I don't really know what to say, just that I heard about this on the radio yesterday and I thought of you. Something like this is so tragic and really reminds me how brave and selfless firefighters are. If only things like this didn't have to happen.
Jun. 20th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
I appreciate the thoughts. I'm a bit griped right now about the idea that the whole thing could have been avoided by a fire sprinkler system, when I was just reading an article about how the construction industry is mobilizing to fight sprinkler legislation. In other words, this *didn't* have to happen. But firefighters are firefighters, and when they see something burning, they forget about politics or profit and go to put it out.
Jun. 20th, 2007 06:16 pm (UTC)
Nine men in one fire? Adequate words don't exist....
Jun. 20th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
Yes, nine firefighters in a city that has only 19 fire stations. It's the per capita equivilant of the Chicago Fire Department losing over a hundred men in a single incident ... and you're absolutely right, there are no words.
Jun. 21st, 2007 05:44 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness. I will keep all of those brave people in my prayers, and I will pray for their families, also.
Jun. 23rd, 2007 08:31 am (UTC)
Thanks, it's much appreciated.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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