Feds release study of fatal Sofa Super Store fire

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Federal officials are releasing the results of a long-awaited study of a fire that killed nine Charleston firefighters.

The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Md., on Thursday releases its study of the June 2007 blaze at the Sofa Super Store.

The institute conducted computer modeling to determine why the fire spread so quickly, why the building collapsed and whether sprinklers could have saved firefighters.

It's 1 of 2 studies the local prosecutor is awaiting to determine whether criminal charges may be filed.

An earlier report by fire experts hired by the city concluded firefighters did not follow standard safety practices, were under-trained and had obsolete equipment. But it also said a sprinkler system would have confined the fire to the loading dock where it started.

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