Charleston Announces Karen Brack as New Fire Chief

The City of Charleston, S.C. on Friday announced its section to succeed Fire Chief Thomas Carr, who retired in March due to complications from his ongoing battle with Parkinson's disease.

Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. named Eugene, Ore. Deputy Chief Karen E. Brack of the city's new fire chief at a press conference at City Hall.

"Chief Brack's experience is extraordinary," Riley said, according to WCSC-TV."She brings talents that will be of great benefit to the fire department of the City of Charleston."

If the appointment is approved by city council, she would take office in around Aug. 1.

Brack would become the city's first female fire chief and would be taking over the position from interim Chief Franklin Finley Jr., who took over for Carr.

The 29-year fire service veteran has been with Eugene since 2007.

The other candidates for the job include Kansas City, Mo. Deputy Fire Chief Paul J. Berardi; Mobile, Ala. Deputy Fire Chief Richard Brannon and Henrico, Va. Fire Chief Edwin W. Smith.

The four were chosen from a pool of 61 applicants, which included five current members of the Charleston Fire Department.

The city launched the nationwide search in December to replace Carr, who took charge of the department one year after the 2007 Sofa Super Store blaze that claimed the lives of nine Charleston firefighters.