Report: Mistakes made during Daniel Island fire

Crews battle the fire from outside.
Crews battle the fire from outside.

DANIEL ISLAND, SC (WCSC/AP) - A new report concludes Charleston firefighters made similar mistakes at a fire last year that they did in a 2007 furniture store fire that claimed the lives of nine firefighters.

No one was killed in the fire last year in a Daniel Island building on Island Park Drive.

But a review by Charleston firefighters and those from surrounding areas found that fire crews rushed into the building with undersized hoses, no thermal imaging camera and not enough water.

Similar findings were reported following the 2007 deadly fire at the Sofa Super Store.

Interim Charleston Fire Chief Frank Finley says there are glaring similarities between the fires.

Finley says at the Daniel Island fire the first engine failed to follow procedure.

"Then is causes a domino effect, just like a big snowball rolling," Finley said.

Finley says it's a challenge getting firefighters to change the way they were originally trained.

"You're talking about people who have been here, some 30 years and it's hard to rewire somebody in three years," he said. "If something doesn't click, they're going to revert back to what they knew before."

Just after the incident last year, Deputy Chief John Tippet said, "The initial crews arrived. They did their assessment. They started to do an interior attack which is a normal course after we do a risk assessment and the incident commander arrived," said Chief Tippett.

"He saw that the fire was more advanced than they observed. He ordered everyone out of the building based on his interpretation of the fire being in the attack or roof space already."

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Copyright 2012 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.