June 19, 2007
Fire swept through a furniture warehouse, collapsing the building's roof and claiming the lives of nine firefighters in a disaster the mayor described Tuesday as "difficult to fathom or quantify."
"Nine brave, heroic, courageous firefighters of the city of Charleston have perished fighting fire in a most courageous and fearless manner, . . ." Mayor Joseph Riley said at a morning news conference. "To all of their loved ones, our heart goes out to them."
Two employees in the building were rescued from the blaze, which broke out at about 7 p.m. Monday in the Sofa Super Store and warehouse, Riley said.
Overnight, firefighters, police officers and other rescue workers saluted as the bodies were carried from the warehouse.
"To lose nine is just a tragedy of immense proportions," Riley said. "To lose nine is just unbelievable."
The cause of the f