Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cause of Death Same for All Nine

Posted by Greg Hambrick on Wed, Jun 20, 2007 at 3:28 PM

The nine firefighters that died in Monday night's Sofa Super Store fire all died of smoke inhalation and burns, Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten announced this afternoon.

The fire has brought national attention to Charleston as the single largest firefighter fatality since 9/11.

Wooten said it was "remarkeable" that all nine men had the same cause of death.

"I wouldn't have been surprised to see other injuries," she said, noting that there didn't appear to be injuries to any of the firemen from the roof collapsing.

She could not say whether the roof collapse trapped any of the men, noting similar deaths have occured with easy access out of a burning building.

"Many times when we respond to smoke-inhilation deaths, we often wonder why the person didn't get out," she said.

An investigation of the fire is ongoing through the State Law Enforcement Division and the federal Achohal, Trade, and Firearm Department. Mayor Joe Riley said that the investigation is for more than just informational purposes, but will provide lessons for handling future fires.

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