The Sofa Store
About The Sofa StoreThe Sofa Store features a large selection of quality living room, bedroom, dining room, home office, and entertainment furniture as well as mattresses, home decor and accessories. The Sofa Store has a store location in Towson, MD. The Sofa Store serves the surrounding areas of Baltimore. If you’re looking for the perfect furniture to suit your needs as well as your lifestyle, stop by The Sofa Store in Towson, Maryland today!
The Sofa Store
The Sofa Store features a large selection of quality living room, bedroom, dining room, home office, and entertainment furniture as well as mattresses, home decor and accessories. The Sofa Store has a store location in Towson, MD. The Sofa Store serves the surrounding areas of Baltimore. If you’re looking for the perfect furniture to suit your needs as well as your lifestyle, stop by The Sofa Store in Towson, Maryland today!
The Sofa Store
The Charleston Sofa Super Store fire occurred on the evening of June 18, 2007 in Charleston South Carolina, United States and claimed the lives of nine firefighters. This had been the highest number of firefighter fatalities in a single event since the September 11 attacks until June 30, 2013, when nineteen Prescott, Arizona, firefighters from the elite “Granite Mountain Hotshots” team died at the Yarnell Hill Wildfire. The fire was believed to have started in some discarded furniture in the loading dock area, and though the source of ignition has been left undetermined, there is reason to believe that it may have been a discarded cigarette.
The fire occurred at the Sofa Super Store, composed of a 42,000 ft² (3,902 m²) single-story steel trussed showroom building with a 17,000 ft² (1,579 m²) warehouse building located behind the retail space, located at 1807 Savannah Highway in Charleston. The building had no fire sprinkler system. The fire started at approximately 7:00 p.m. in a covered loading dock area built between the showroom and warehouse buildings which was attached to both buildings. At the time, the business was open and employees were present. Charleston firefighters arrived on the scene within three minutes of the alarm, followed soon after by firefighters from the St. Andrews Public Service District.
The Sofa Super Store site was on a major business and commuter artery feeding the suburbs and shopping centers of Charleston. Car traffic continued unabated for many critical minutes in the initial stages of the fire, driving over water supply lines and contributing to severe water supply problems, as the supply lines snaked from hydrants in surrounding blocks up to a half-mile away from the center of the fire. Eventually automobile traffic on Savannah Highway was stopped so that water pressure would be more consistent, the traffic diversion causing surrounding neighborhoods to fill with stranded commuters and onlookers. As the fire diminished and appeared contained, nearing 11:00 PM, surrounding neighborhoods began to clear and onlookers departed, most unaware of the loss of life during the blaze.
Mayor Joe Riley announced on June 27, 2007, that the City of Charleston had reached a tentative agreement with Sofa Super Store owner Herb Goldstein to turn the site of the tragedy into a park with a memorial for the nine fallen firefighters. The following day, Riley proposed a second memorial be included in a planned, but controversial, county park. “It could be where every firefighter in the region goes for their picnic,” Riley said. The second memorial has been criticized as a move to garner support for the county park project.
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Despite efforts to confine and extinguish the fire, it continued to spread into the structure and ignited furniture in the showroom, growing more quickly than the few operating hose lines could control. Meanwhile, efforts to stretch and begin operating additional hose lines continued. At 7:41 p.m. the showroom area of the store experienced a flashover while at least sixteen firefighters were working inside. The flashover contributed to the rapid deterioration of the structural integrity of the building, leading to a near-complete collapse of the roof minutes later. Many of the firefighters caught in the flashover were unable to escape and were trapped under the collapsed roof and shelving weakened by the fast-spreading fire. Several calls for help were made by trapped firefighters and efforts to rescue them were commenced. These efforts proved unsuccessful. By the time the fire was brought under control, nine Charleston firefighters had been killed.
Some fire experts have questioned why the exterior front windows were taken out by firefighters while crews were committed inside, an action that could have increased the amount of oxygen being fed to the fire and drawn flames to the front of the store. Assistant Fire Chief Larry Garvin stated that fire blew out the windows, at which time firefighters broke open more windows to allow firefighters to escape.
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