Local Firefighters Reflect On South Carolina Fire - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/19/07-Longview

Local Firefighters Reflect On South Carolina Fire

It's being called the deadliest single disaster for firefighters since 9/11.  Nine firefighters are confirmed dead and one in critical condition after a furniture warehouse collapse in Charleston, South Carolina. The cause of the fire is still under investigation and officials say there was no sprinkler system in the building.

The tragedy has firefighters all over the nation reflecting on their lost brothers, wondering how something like this could happen.  And here in East Texas, Longview firefighters can't believe what they see either. Whether watching footage online or inside the firehouse break room, the situation has the entire fire station reflecting on the loss.  

"It's tragic, it's tragic...it doesn't matter if it's nine or if it's one, it still affects you the same way, that's a guy who's not going home," says Longview Fire Marshal Mark Moore.

It's a brotherhood, a family, and a fellowship around the nation that's now down nine of its own.  

"We've lost nine of our brothers and sisters and it's a difficult time," says Captain Cory Crowell.

They say it really puts their job into perspective, reminding them of the dangerous situations that can happen at any time.  

"There's just numerous things that we practice and we drill on we're constantly thinking about you know what if this happens, sometimes you cannot practice for the "what ifs," says Moore.

It's a "what if" turned reality and now lessons to be learned, but these firefighters say it's tough when those lessons have to be learned the hard way.

Moore says firefighters across the country will be studying this incident for years to come. He says this is a particularly tough time considering we're in the middle of national Safety Stand Down week, designated to review safety techniques.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com

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