Charleston Remembers Fire that Claimed 7 Lives

Local News

Monday marks the 70th anniversary of the Woolworth Fire that took the lives of seven firefighters.

Every year, the city holds a ceremony in remembrance. Setting a reef at the base of the Woolworth building in memory of George Coates, J.P. Little, Richard McCormick, Frank Miller, Emory Pauley, T.F. Sharp, and Freddie Summers. Their names memorialized in bronze.

First responders say today is also a time to reflect on those who continue to serve the community daily.

Capt. Les Smith with the Charleston Fire Department said, “last year was our busiest year fighting fires in a long time, over 117 structure fires and each time we go out, there’s an inherent amount of risk that our members are taking, making entry into the structures, trying to make sure everybody’s out of them and save the property that’s burning. So there’s always a remembrance every time that there’s a chance and we’re taking that chance.”

He also said that the fire department appreciates the support from the city administration and public, which has been a great help for them.

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