June itself is NOT a very good month for Charleston.  Last year was a horrific tragedy where 1 man shot 9 people at the Mother Emanuel Church.  Just as equally horrific, Charleston experienced another overwhelming tragedy just 9 years prior.


On June 18th, 2007, 9 firefighters lost their lives in a blaze that overwhelmed the Sofa Store they were trying to put out. There had not been such a great loss of life of men honorably acting out their oaths and duties since September 11th, 2001.  From 7pm to approximately 10pm, the fire raged, but it wasn’t until 4am that everyone that had gone in, but tragically not returned had been accounted for.




Click here for collage of the Charleston 9 Firefighters


Charleston 9 Firefighters

Mike French

Louis Mulkey

Brad Baity

Mike Benke

Melvin Champaign

Earl Drayton

Billy Hutchinson

Mark Kelsey

Brandon Thompson





There is now a memorial site, with a “gravestone” for each firefighter in the location that they were found approximately.  It is open to public and can be found on Savannah Highway in West Ashley. A section of Savannah Highway was also named the “Charleston Nine Memorial Highway” which runs from the intersection of Highway 171 all the way to Sam Rittenberg. 







*** On June 18th, at 7pm, Please take a moment to pause in memory of the 9 year anniversary
of the Charleston 9 firefighters. ***



Shine bright

<3 Jenn

Author: Jenn Bell