After a couple of stories in the Post and Courier about Charleston’s ridiculous sprinkler fees, the Charleston Water System is planning to eliminate most of the cost that any reasonable person would consider a barrier for some businesses to install sprinkler systems. The sofa store where nine firefighters lost their lives battling a fire was not equipped with sprinklers.

The water system has charged $52,500 start-up fee with a $1,800 to $2,200 annual fee. The start-up fees are going to be eliminated and the annual rate reduced to less than $300.

While some may see this as the water service taking a hit for safety, I’m more inclined to believe the group got busted with a ridiculously over-priced fee.

Meanwhile, the fire department was back in the news today, with federal investigators forced to plead with local Fire Chief Rusty Thomas and Mayor Joe Riley to let them interview firefighters regarding the sofa store blaze.

Riley told the Post and Courier that the perceived refusal by Thomas was a misunderstanding and that the city would allow the interviews in coordination with state investigators who will also be speaking with firefighters this week.