CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — This year's ceremony to mark the deaths of nine firefighters in South Carolina killed fighting a blaze at a furniture store in 2007 will be closed to the public.
Charleston Fire Department officials said to keep people safe from COVID-19, they will livestream the memorial program on Facebook starting at 7 p.m. Friday.
The nine Charleston firefighters died inside the Sofa Superstore on June 18, 2007, when the blaze spread faster than expected and other firefighters broke store windows, allowing the fire to rapidly intensify.
The site of the store on U.S. Highway 17 was turned into the Charleston 9 Memorial Park. Officials said they are arranging to bring family members of the killed firefighters to the site at different times Friday so they can have their own private time of reflection and mourning.
Firefighters will also spend 24 hours on a memorial watch at the flagpole at the park. Not far away from the pole are nine markers at the spot where the body of each firefighter was found.