Charleston Sofa Fire

In: Historical Events

Submitted By rigsb005
Words 1702
Pages 7
Charleston Super Sofa Fire
Charles Rigsbee
Durham Tech, Community College

Introduction

On June 18, 2007, the City of Charleston’s Fire Department lost nine of their firefighters, when they became trapped fighting a fire inside of the Sofa Super Store. This tragedy was the single greatest loss of firemen on duty in the United States since 343 fire fighters died in the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Issues that plagued the Charleston Fire department on the day of the incident included the lack of a proper incident command system; no accountability system and water supply issues hampered firefighting and rescue efforts that dreadful day. Furthermore, the Sofa Super Store’s lack of sprinkler systems in vital areas resulted in heavy fire loads created by high volumes of highly combustible furniture; compliant building additions also contributed to the deaths of the 9 firemen.

The Fire On June 18, 2007, approximately at 6:56 pm, a fire was spotted by someone driving along the Savannah Highway in front of the store. The passerby notified store employees of the fire outside of the loading dock. The manager attempted to extinguish the fire with portable extinguishers but was unable to bring the fire under control. At 7:08, Charleston County 911 Center received a call reporting the fire at the store. Within 2 minutes, Engines 11 and 10, ladder 5 and Battalion 4 were dispatched. Battalion 4 was the first unit on scene, his intimal size up indicated trash and debris burning outside the building, with possible extension inside the building. Engine 10 was the first engine on scene. Engine 10 was positioned on the west side of the structure, where the fire was centered. Engine’s 10 captain pulled a booster line and began an exterior fire attack, while the rest of the crew deployed a 1-1/2 preconnect. The Assistant Chief arrived on…...

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