Charleston 9 Remembrance Ceremony to be held on 8th anniversary of deadly fire

Updated: Jun. 16, 2015 at 5:21 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston Fire Department will be paying tribute to the nine firefighters who died while battling a West Ashley furniture store fire eight years ago.

CFD officials announced the 8th Remembrance Ceremony for the Charleston 9 will be held at the former Sofa Super Store at 1807 Savannah Highway on Thursday.

Officials say the ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. and will include a lineup of department personnel, the reading of the nine names and ringing of the bell, followed by bagpipes.

The Charleston 9, as the victims came to be known, died at the scene of the fire on the evening of June 18, 2007.

The victims were Engineer Bradford "Brad" Baity, of Engine 19; Capt. Mike Benke of Engine 16; Firefighter Melvin Champaign, of Engine 16; Firefighter James "Earl" Drayton, of Engine 19; Asst. Engineer Michael French, of Ladder 5; Capt. William Hutchinson, of Engine 19; Engineer Mark Kelsey, of Ladder 5; Capt. Louis Mulkey, of Engine 15; and Firefighter Brandon Thompson, of Ladder 5.

"The community is invited to join the department and family members as we pause to reflect on the tragic loss of June 18th, 2007," read a statement by the department.

Parking at the site will be limited during the ceremony.

CFD officials say visitors are encouraged to use off-site parking in the immediate area.

Charleston fire personnel will initiate a watch at the flagpole of the memorial site starting at midnight and continuing for the 24 hours.

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