Arizona fatal fire brings back memories of Charleston 9

Arizona fatal fire brings back memories of Charleston 9
Updated: Jul. 2, 2013 at 12:01 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The effects of a deadly wildlife in Arizona Sunday were felt right here in the Lowcountry.

Just two weeks ago, Charleston observed the sixth anniversary of the Sofa Super Store fire that killed nine Charleston firefighters.

Gerald Mishoe is executive director of the Lowcountry Firefighters Support Network.

The network helped firefighters and families after the Sofa Super Store fire in 2007, and continues to do so today.

Mishoe says the Arizona fire brought back memories of the Charleston 9.

"We know what they're feeling. We know what they're going through," Mishoe said. "Unfortunately, it's just a terrible process involving a whole lot of lives.19 people dead, hundreds, hundreds and maybe thousands of people affected."

Reverend Rob Dewey of the Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy called authorities in the town where the fire happened, offering to lend support.

"I talked to one of the dispatchers a little while ago and she was crying on the phone as she talked to me, because they have lost half of their family," Dewey said.

Dewey remembers how difficult it was for the families of the Charleston 9 in the aftermath of the Sofa Super Store fire.

He says the families of the Arizona fallen firefighters will go through the same process.

"I'm sure they're so overwhelmed right now that they don't know what to think, what to do."

Mishoe says as was the case after the Charleston fire, there will be lots of questions asked in Arizona.

"There will be a lot of questions about how it could have been prevented. People will be going through the grieving process. There will be an anger process."

Dewey hopes eventually there will be healing.

"I know those folks out there are hurting and need our thoughts and prayers."

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