Timeline of Charleston Sofa Super Store blaze - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Timeline of Charleston Sofa Super Store blaze

CHARLESTON, SC (WIS) - A 54 page report on the Charleston Sofa Super Store fire on June 18th, 2007 reveals that in addition to the nine firefighters who died, at least six others almost didn't make it out.

Investigators say the first battalion chief on the scene reported a bunch of trash burning on the side of building, but within minutes, the fire rapidly engulfed the store and left nine firefighters dead.

The report includes a timeline that shows what happened in the first 40 minutes after crews arrived.

At 7:07 the fire department was dispatched to the sofa super store and three minutes later crews are on the scene.

At 7:13 the acting chief is inside the building and opens a door in the showroom revealing heavy fire on the loading dock.

A minute later, at 7:14,  the acting chief says on the radio that the fire is spreading in the showroom.

At 7:16, Chief Rusty Thomas arrives.

At 7:27 a store employee trapped in the warehouse behind the store calls for help.

Two minutes later, distress calls from firefighters inside the store calling for help. Minutes after that the trapped employee is safe, but mayday calls are heard on the radio.

At 7:35 the chief orders the front windows be knocked out, and five firefighters escape the burning building.

Thirty minutes after the first firefighters entered the building Chief Thomas says no more firefighters are to go inside.

Meanwhile, crews radio for increased water pressure.

Investigators say the burning furniture created toxic and flammable gases and the smoke inside the building was so thick the firefighters' visibility dropped to zero.

The report says the firefighters died of carbon monoxide poisoning, smoke inhalation and extreme heat.

The report released is just a first draft. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health won't recommend any changes until the final report is released.

Posted by Bryce Mursch

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