Charleston Nine memorial Friday 

Third anniversary marked with quiet reflection

The City of Charleston Fire Department will return to the site of the former Sofa Super Store at 1807 Savannah Highway on Fri. June 18 to remember nine firefighters lost in a blaze three years ago.

Like last year, family members of the firefighters lost will have a private hour of reflection at the site from 6-7 p.m., followed by the reading of the nine named and the ringing of a fire bell. The site will then be open to the public for three hours, with a tent, water, lights, and fans available as a quintet provides music.

The city has yet to redevelop the site but recently installed a new fence and a flower garden. Family members of the lost firefighters await a court date against the store's owners and some furniture manufacturers.

Meanwhile, four former city firefighters recently filed a lawsuit for injuries sustained while fighting the fire. Four others had previously filed suit in January.

The firefighters lost include:

Captain William "Billy" Hutchinson

Captain Mike Benke

Captain Louis Mulkey

Engineer Mark Kelsey

Engineer Bradford "Brad" Baity

Asst. Engineer Michael French

Firefighter James "Earl" Drayton

Firefighter Brandon Thompson

Firefighter Melvin Champaign


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