Charleston Sofa Fire Essay

1705 Words Nov 16th, 2015 7 Pages
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
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The Assistant chief reached the double doors that led to the loading dock and there he encountered a small cloud of smoke at ceiling level but soon realized that there was fire beyond the double doors. According to the Phase I Routley report, “The Assistant Chief opened one of the double doors and they immediately observed smoke and flames involving furniture on the loading dock to the right of the doorway. The draft pulled the door out of his hand as air from the showroom was drawn toward the fire” (Routley). A request for a 1-1/2 preconnect was made by the Captain of Engine 11, he had entered the store, while the rest of Engine 11 attempted to setup a supply line for Engine 10. The interior line was brought in by Engine 5’s crew, but once they stretched the pre-connect out, they realized that they would need another pre-connected line so they could reach the fire. The interior attack was delayed once again because the pump operator for Engine 11 was unable to put the engine into pump gear properly. Aware of this, Engine 11’s captain returned to the engine and assisted the driver with placing the engine into pump gear. In a short period of time, smoke had begun banking and the heat inside began to rise. Things went from bad to worse quickly for the Charleston Fire Department. At approximately 7:27 p.m., 911 dispatched notified command that they received an emergency call from a man claiming to be trapped inside the

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