CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The deaths of nine Charleston firefighters sent shockwaves through the community on June 18th, 2007. The casualties were felt particularly by the fire departments that lost a member, like Engine 16. On that day, three of their fire personnel were killed.
"I think about them every day," Captain John Cole says. "When I walk in the door, their names are on the truck; their names are in the station. I'm in the Captain's room where Mike Benke used to sleep."
Captain Mike Benke, Captain William Hutchinson, and firefighter Melvin Champaign were all stationed at the firehouse on 81 Ashley Hall Plantation Road.
"It's a tough day," Captain Cole says. "Everybody just wants to remember and reflect and do something to remember those guys."