06/19/07 54 W, 1 I - + 13 - 15 Charleston Firefighters Killed

Nine firefighters died in a furniture store fire yesterday. SConFire has the story. There is also extensive information on Firehouse.com. The forums contain a link to a pre-fire picture. WCBD-TV has raw video footage. Pics below from Live Maps Search, WCBD-TV, and Post Courier.

My thoughts and prayers go to the families and the department. Everyone stay safe. This is a tragic way to start Safety Stand Down Week
Apex Batt Chief - 06/19/07 - 08:03

I agree with the Chief from Apex… this is a tragic way to start the Safety Stand-Down. Let us hold Charleston and the families in our prayers and minds, and let us honor our fallen brothers by doing our jobs the best that we can.
Guest3222 - 06/19/07 - 10:00

My thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the Charleston firefighters who died in yesterdays fire. The town of Charleston should be proud of these heroes who risked their lives to save others in a devastating fire. As usual a group of brothers and sisters put someone else above themselves and will be remembered for their sacrifice. John 15:13 (Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends). Yesterday was another tragic day for the fire service, now is a time for mourning and remembrance.

Gen3fire - 06/19/07 - 11:32

I’m sure I echo others with heart-felt thoughts and prayers to the families, and co-workers of the UNIDENTIFIED Firefighters who were killed in the line of duty.
JASON BOGGS (Email) - 06/19/07 - 12:58

The news conference to announce the names of the firefighters has just taken place… the chief of department stated that “I lost nine of my friends, and our department lost over 100 years of experience.” I think that we should all pray for their families tonight when we observe that moment of silence at 1900 tonight.
Guest3222 - 06/19/07 - 14:14

To add to my earlier comment, allow me to add some information I obtained from The Charleston Post & Courier:

The name of the nine brave men who lost their lives:

Captain William “Billy” Hutchinson, 48, 30 years of service
Captain Mike Benke, 49, 29 years of service
Captain Louis Mulkey, 34, 11.5 years of service
Engineer Mark Kelsey, 40, 12.5 years of service
Engineer Bradford “Brad” Baity, 37, 9 years of service
Asst. Engineer Michael French, 27, 1.5 years of service
Firefighter James “Earl” Drayton, 56, 32 years of service
Firefighter Brandon Thompson, 27, 4 years of service
Firefighter Melven Champaign, 46, 2 years of service

Please distribute this list as needed, so that we may all know and pray for these men’s families, as well as for their department.
Guest3222 - 06/19/07 - 15:20

Thought and prayers with our Brothers in there time of loss.
BrotherFF - 06/19/07 - 16:53

From a historical perspective, yesterday’s tragedy was the greatest loss of firefighters in the Carolinas. Don’t know about the southeast. From a quick scan of NC and SC records, the prior deadliest duty incidents occurred on May 25, 1979 (Shelby, NC, four killed), on September 7, 1982 (Washington, NC, four killed), and on January 1, 1926 (Lexington, NC, three killed). North Carolina has recorded 195+ firefighters fatalities. South Carolina has recorded 90+ firefighter fatalities. Those are very rough numbers.
Legeros - 06/19/07 - 21:23

Good Call Mike…
Everyone be safe, know your job, and keep the Charleston Family and all our fallen brothers in their prayers
JASON BOGGS (Email) - 06/20/07 - 00:13

This morning’s Post-Courier has more strong coverage: http://www.charleston.net/

There’s some additional video footage, and this article, http://www.charleston.net/news/2007/jun/.., that features a graphic and a day-after aerial photo.
Legeros - 06/20/07 - 05:42

Our thoughts and prayers go to families and friends of our fallen brothers.
DHFD - 06/20/07 - 15:10

The Post and Courier continues its extensive coverage: http://www.charleston.net/ Scroll farther down the page for more stories under Local Headlines. The News & Observer today features a Chicago Tribune story that is not available on the N&O site. Here’s that one: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/natio..
Legeros - 06/21/07 - 05:23

Hey guys. Now I will admit that I am not a firefighter, but many people in my family are and I have been around them for all my life. I happened to be in Charleston on Tuesday and got back today. Before I came back, I drove past the scene and it is much worse in person. Seeing some of the beams melted and sagging showed how bad it was. Nine crosses run along the sidewalk along with many flowers and cards from the public. Just before I left town, there was a funeral for one of the firefighters. Such a sad sight to see…
Trevor - 06/21/07 - 22:52

This tragedy once again reminds us of the vulnerability of the structural firefighter. Situational awareness is listed as one of number one causes of close calls and LODD. Let’s all be aware of our surroundings and all go home safely!!
old school - 06/21/07 - 23:57

I wanted to let everybody know about a memorial for Chaleston 9 Fallen Heroes. If you would pass the word out I would appreciate it. I don’t charge families to create a memorials when they die ib the line of duty. Also, I have a memorial for Jenna Nielson if anyone would like to leave a condolence for her family at http://www.aneverlastingtribute.com/Jenn...

Cheryl (Email) (Web Site) - 07/11/07 - 11:52

The Memorial for Charleston Firefighter’s is at http://www.aherostribute.org
Cheryl (Email) (Web Site) - 07/11/07 - 11:53

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