Son: Bibles, portrait of Charleston 9 fireman spared by blaze

Published: Jan. 15, 2013 at 12:12 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 15, 2013 at 10:12 PM EST
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The portrait of Capt. Benke.
The portrait of Capt. Benke.

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - The son of a Charleston 9 firefighter says a stack of bibles and a portrait of his father were spared from a blaze that ripped through the family's West Ashley home on Monday evening.

The Eve Circle belonged to the late Capt. Mike Benke, a firefighter who was one of the Charleston 9 who died in the summer of 2007 in the massive fire at the Charleston Super Store.

On Tuesday, Benke's teenaged son showed us a portrait of his father and a stack of bibles.  He said the bibles were located in the living room, which received the most damage from the fire, and they were the only items to be spared in that room.

He said his father's picture was hanging in an adjacent family room that also received damage.

Charleston Fire Department Fire Marshal Mike Julazadeh says the fire appears to have started in the living room within or under a built-in computer desk.

He says the cause of the fire is likely related to electrical items, but there is too much damage to identify a specific cause.

Authorities say the family was not hurt, but the family dog died in the fire.

Video from the scene indicates the majority of the damage was done to the inside of the home.

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