Charleston Fire Department holds remembrance ceremony for Charle - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Charleston Fire Department holds remembrance ceremony for Charleston 9

The Charleston 9 firefighters (Source: Charleston Fire Dept.) The Charleston 9 firefighters (Source: Charleston Fire Dept.)
Flags and markers at the Charleston 9 memorial at the former site of the Sofa Super Store. (Source: Live 5) Flags and markers at the Charleston 9 memorial at the former site of the Sofa Super Store. (Source: Live 5)
A firefighter holds a helmet in tribute to the Charleston 9 at a 2016 memorial service. (Source: Live 5) A firefighter holds a helmet in tribute to the Charleston 9 at a 2016 memorial service. (Source: Live 5)
The scene of the fire in 2007 (Source: Live 5) The scene of the fire in 2007 (Source: Live 5)
Charleston firefighters stand watch at the memorial on Savannah Highway (Source: Live 5) Charleston firefighters stand watch at the memorial on Savannah Highway (Source: Live 5)
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

Members of the Charleston Fire Department marked the 11th anniversary of a deadly fire that claimed nine of their own with a remembrance ceremony Monday night. 

The Sofa Super Store fire in West Ashley killed nine city firefighters on June 18, 2007.

SPECIAL PROGRAM: The Charleston 9: Never Forget

The ceremony was held at the Charleston 9 Memorial Park. The park stands on the former site of the store at 1807 Savannah Highway.

The park contains markers for each of the nine firefighters killed that evening.

For 24 hours on June 18, Charleston fire personnel were at attention at the memorial flagpole to honor the Charleston 9.

“It’s a tough day emotionally. A few days out everybody starts to feel it a little. You don’t sleep as well,” said Charleston Fire Battalion Chief David Griff. “Your body starts to subconsciously bring you back to that day.”

During the memorial, all Charleston fire fighters who have died in the line of duty had their names read, including Diane French’s son Michael French who is one of the Charleston 9.

“Coming here never gets any easier, but it does my heart good when I see 11 years the continuing out pour of love from the community and the people who honestly will never forget those men,” said French.

“We want to always remember what took place and the lives that were lost and the sacrifices that were made,” said Charleston Fire Department Interim Chief Joseph Roberts.

Roberts said the tragedy that happened here has changed the way fire departments operate nationwide and locally.

“A lot of good changes, operations, equipment, tactics,” said Griff.

The park contains markers for each of the nine firefighters killed that evening.

The firefighters who died while working to make sure no employees were trapped inside the building were: 

At the time, the incident bore the highest number of firefighter fatalities in a single event since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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