Street dedication for Charleston firefighter killed in Sofa Super Store fire postponed

Firefighter James Earl Drayton
Firefighter James Earl Drayton
Published: Aug. 2, 2019 at 4:57 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A downtown Charleston street will be dedicated to one of the nine firefighters killed in the 2007 Sofa Super Store fire, but the dedication ceremony has been postponed.

City officials said earlier on Friday that Amherst Street will soon be known as “Earl Drayton Street.” Drayton was one of the firefighters who lost their lives battling the Sofa Super Store fire on Savannah Highway in 2007. Those firefighters came to be known as the Charleston 9.

City spokesperson Cameron Wolfsen said the event, originally scheduled for Monday, was being postponed because of a conflict. No new date has been set.

A 32-year veteran of the force, Drayton grew up on Amherst Street and later attended C.A. Brown High School.

Drayton was 56 when he died. He left behind a wife, five children and several grandchildren. His wife once said the pair loved to travel and he died doing what he loved. Drayton also served for eight years in the United States Marine Corps.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and Fire Chief Daniel Curia are expected to be in attendance when the street is dedicated.

The Charleston fire department still honors the “Charleston 9” every year when firefighters stand watch at the memorial site.

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