'Charleston 9' Remembered on Anniversary of Tragic Blaze

Last June 18, nine Charleston firefighters walked out of their homes for the last time. CHARLESTON, S.C. -- "June 18 was the worst day of my life." That's how Michael Campbell feels about the day he lost his best friend in the world -- Michael...


Randy Hutchinson said it doesn't seem like it's been a year since he lost his brother, Billy.

"He loved his job. He loved the brotherhood, and everything that goes along with that ..."

Billy Hutchinson did more than fight fires and mentor rookies. He was never without his shears.

"He was a barber. Most of the time he didn't charge, but if he did, it was $2. Everyone came to his station for a trim," his brother, a former Charleston firefighter recalled.

A newly promoted officer announced one day he was closing down the firehouse clip joint. "Word got around really quickly. It wasn't long before a higher ranking officer walked in for a trim," Hutchinson said with a laugh. "I know the new guy got the message. There was never another word about stopping him."

Hutchinson said he's about as ready as he can be for the tributes.

Messages of support for firefighters and the families of the Charleston 9 are on marquis throughout the city -- just as they were after the tragic incident last year.

The nine fallen firefighters were remembered in a solemn, respectful service Wednesday morning.

The video tribute included personal snippets of each man's life. There were pictures of the firefighters with babies, in wedding photos, in school pictures, playing sports, laughing, joking around with their friends, family and fellow firefighters. Their families also selected a song to accompany their segment.

Tonight, only family and firefighters will be attending a candlelight vigil at the site of the fatal fire.

Family members will place candles at the spots where their loved ones were found.