11/14/10 264 W, 1 I - + 6 - 7 Firefighters Struck, One Killed on I-20 in Columbia, SC

Yesterday afternoon, two Columbia Fire Department firefighters were struck by a vehicle while fighting a brush fire on Interstate 20. Firefighter Larry Irvan, 30, is in critical but stable condition as of last night. The second firefighter died last night, a young man whose name was being withheld by the fire department out of respect for the family, as reported in this story from The State. He was original reported as deceased on the scene, and has been identified by name on other sites. (Meta-conversation alert on that aspect of the story.)

The accident occurred about 2:15 p.m. The two firefighters were operating in the media of I-20 near mile marker 81. Three pieces of fire apparatus were on scene and parked on the inside lane on the eastbound side. A vehicle approaching in the westbound lane struck the firefighters. This WLTX story reports that that vehicle was struck by a second vehicle, prior to striking the firefighters. They were airlifted to Palmetto Richland hospital.

Additional details are certainly forthcoming, as news reporting is always a bit slower on Saturday and Sunday, at least in the Carolinas. See other coverage and conversation at: South Carolina on Fire and Dave Statter.

The Columbia Fire Department serves both the capital of South Carolina and a 660 square-mile area of Richland County. As their web site notes, they have 515 active firefighters, 392 of which are career firefighters. They have 32 stations, about half of which are "volunteer" stations. They are cited as Columbia-Richland Fire Department in places.

WLTX/Sam Quiller photo

Firefighter Close Calls has posted funeral arrangements for Firefighter Chance Zobel:

Visitation for Firefighter Chance Zobel on Tuesday evening at Dunbar Funeral Home located at 7600 Woodrow Street in Irmo, SC 29063. The first visitation is from 6:00pm – 8:00pm and is open to everyone. Please wear your Class A uniform if possible.

The funeral will be held on Wednesday at Shandon Baptist Church located at 5250 Forest Drive in Columbia SC, 29206. The Funeral will start at 1:00pm. Class A uniform is the preferred dress.

The internment will follow immediately after the funeral service at Shady Grove United Methodist Church located at 1918 Shady Grover Road in Irmo, SC 29063.
Legeros - 11/16/10 - 07:27

Firefighter Zobel was identified in a fire department press conference on Sunday. He had been a member of the fire department for three years, and had graduated from the rookie academy in February. The 23 year-old rookie a member of Engine 4, along with Larry Irvin, who was injured on Saturday. He is survived by his parents, a brother, and a fiancee. Here’s a WSIT story about him, http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=.., as well as his obituary, http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=..
Legeros - 11/16/10 - 07:34

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