Charleston Report: South Carolina Fire Department Lacked Tactics, Training

May 16, 2008

A new analysis of the South Carolina furniture store fire that killed nine Charleston firefighters last year says the department inadequately trained and supervised its personnel and exposed the men to excessive risks the night they fought the fire.

The report obtained by The Associated Press on May 15 said firefighters did not follow standard practices and had obsolete equipment when battling the Sofa Super Store blaze. The analysis was compiled by a panel of experts commissioned by the city and is to be officially released on the evening of May 15.

The fire at the Sofa Super Store last year was the greatest loss of firefighters since the terror attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001.

The report also said the building itself hampered the ability of firefighters to battle the blaze.

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