South Carolina’s SLED is planning to review records for signs of negligence in the case of the June 18, 2007 Sofa Super Store fire in Charleston, SC. A team of State Law Enforcement Division agents is reviewing records from the Sofa Super Store blaze for signs of criminal negligence on the part of commanders who oversaw the attack on the inferno in which nine firemen died, authorities said.
Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson requested the review after meeting with relatives of two firefighters who died in the June 18, 2007, inferno. Family members of captains Louis Mulkey and William Hutchinson gave Wilson eight binders of materials they say prove that commanders exposed fire crews to unnecessary and deadly risks with insufficient training and leadership. Randy Hutchinson said his group has found people with crucial accounts of the fire who were never interviewed by police. From what they can tell, police seem to have focused on the cause and origin of the fire while ignoring questions raised about the commanders’ actions, he said.
The city’s own experts concluded the Fire Department’s command system was virtually nonexistent at the blaze, leaving firefighters without supervision or clear instructions and leaving commanders with no idea of who was where and what they were doing. No one was monitoring who was in the building, how long they were inside or how much air they had left in their tanks. Key tasks were left undone and standby rescue teams were never established in the rush to funnel as many people inside as possible, according to the consultants’ report.
For a complete reporting of the leading events go to the Post and Courier article HERE