In remarks to Charleston residents Thursday noting the changes to the fire department since last year’s Sofa Super Store blaze, Mayor Joe Riley for the first time suggested the departments problems with training and equipment may have contributed to the problems at the scene. The fire led to the deaths of nine Charleston firefighters.
“Last month, we received the second report from our review team, which was the thorough analysis of the Sofa Super Store fire. It pointed out many tragic causal factors, from teh illegal addition to the Sofa Super Store building, without which this fatal fire would never have occurred, to a number of operational policies in our department that may have affected the safe and successful fighting of this fire. I recognize and acknowledge these shortcomings, I take responsibility for them, and state once again my commitment to correcting them.”
Riley has often noted the “perfect storm” of circumstances that led to the fire and complicated the response, though he’s avoided including the departments troubles in that “perfect storm.”