A memorial on the flagpole of station No. 16 on Ashley Hall Plantation Road in Charleston, S.C.
Photo credit: AP Photo/The Post and Courier, Leroy Burnell
Charleston Chief Rusty Thomas, addresses the media during a news conference, June 19.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Alice Keeney
Chief Rusty Thomas embraces a colleague after a news conference where officials announced the names of the nine firefighters who died in the Sofa Super Store fire.
Photo credit: AP Photo/The Post and Courier, Tyrone Walker
CHARLESTON, S.C.--During a press conference this afternoon, officials from the city of Charleston, S.C. identified the names of the firefighters killed in last night's blaze.
Here are their names, as heard by the Firehouse.com News staff. Years of service follow each name.
- Capt. William "Billy" Hutchinson
- Age: 48
- Years with department: 30
- Capt. Mike Benke
- Age: 49
- Years with department: 29 years
- Capt. Louis Mulkey
- Age: 34
- Years with department: 11 1/2 years
- Engineer Mark Kelsey
- Age: 40
- Years with department: 12 1/2 years
- Engineer Bradford "Brad" Baity, Nine years
- Age: 37
- Years with department: 9
- Assistant Engineer Michael French
- Age: 27
- Years with department: 1 1/2 years
- Firefighter James "Earl" Drayton
- Age: 56
- Years with department: 32 years
- Firefighter Brandon Thompson
- Age: 27
- Years with department: Four years
- Firefighter Melven Champaign
- Age: 46
- Years with department: Two years
A fund has been established for the fallen firefighters. Donations can be sent to: The City of Charleston Firemen's Fund, P.O. Box 304, Charleston, SC, 29402.