S.C. Store Owner where 9 Firefighters Died Wishes He Had Sprinklers

September 6, 2007

  • September 6, 2007 at 10:36 am
    Fake Scot says:
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    Hindsight is always 20-20.

  • September 6, 2007 at 10:49 am
    lastbat says:
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    How can he say with a straight face he didn’t know furniture would go up in flames? Or that a sprinkler system would mitigate a fire? How big an idiot does he want us to think he is?

  • September 6, 2007 at 1:01 am
    Sounding guilty says:
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    Clearly he is sick with guilt. He cheaped out and now he has to look into the faces of the widows & fatherless kids left in it’s wake. I wonder why sprinklers weren’t required. That’s the key. People won’t pay for it unless they have to. Also I hate blame the victims here but the fire dept needs to investigate what happened. If they could not save the structure, they are supposed to get out. Something either did not go by procedure or something unexpected happened there. And cigerrettes on the loading dock?! I wonder who else ids feeling guilty now. A tragedy all around. This is a good example of why one would pay for sprinklers! Let others learn from his hindsight.

  • September 6, 2007 at 1:16 am
    SC Gal says:
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    He isn’t sorry he didn’t get the sprinklers. He’s sorry he didn’t get the sprinklers and got caught! If nothing had ever happened and he knew today that he needed sprinklers, etc., he still wouldn’t have them. “They weren’t required…” translates into “It would cost more money to have them, safer or not, but since I’m not REQUIRED to have them, I’m not going to pay for them.”

  • September 6, 2007 at 2:05 am
    Bill Reed says:
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    Buried in “sounding guilty’s” excellent comments is the real issue that the city and fire department have been more mute about than Liberace’s brother. What were these men doing in harms way when it was clear no one was trapped inside, and that the building was beyond salvage? There are times when good judgemnt and commone sense must prevail and that clearly didn’t happen here. They should have stood back, kept the fire from spreading to any nearby properties and let it burn out. What a waste of human life.

  • September 6, 2007 at 2:08 am
    Frankie says:
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    I believe he is completely sincere in his comments. How many of you go the extra mile (and dollar!) to be safe in your daily life? Do you hardwire smoke alarms or do you use batter operated? Do you purchase the safest vehicles or go for what is “in” right now? Do you purchase the healthiest (ie, more expensive) foods or go for the convenient fast foods? We know smoking is unhealthy but we do it. And we still drink and drive. This guy was in compliance with the law but still this horrible situation occurred. Of course hind sight is 20-20! Give the guy a break!

  • September 6, 2007 at 3:09 am
    Bill Reed says:
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    But Frankie, it isn’t the building owner’s responsibility to protect firefighters from the poor judgment of their commanders. Sprinklers are designed and intended to protect people who are inside when the fire starts.

  • September 6, 2007 at 3:27 am
    Frankie says:
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    Bill,
    No doubt about that! A tragedy all around. But let’s not all pounce on this guy for being compliant with the law. He did what was required of him, albeit maybe skimped on the safety side, but he broke no law.

  • September 6, 2007 at 4:16 am
    steve says:
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    Got caught at what? He didn’t do anything (legally) wrong here. Every business attempts to save money and since he wasn’t required to have sprinklers, he didn’t have them. It wasn’t against the law so what was he caught at/with?

  • September 6, 2007 at 5:15 am
    Central Coast Agent says:
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    This may be a reach, but if the property underwriters had been on their toes in 1992 when the purpose built warehouse facility (at least) designed to store upholstered goods was built…why didn’t they require sprinklers? (The sprinkler leakage exposure is significant…but quakes in SC?) Where was Risk Management for the last 15 years? The carrier never inspected the place and made recommendations? Never knew that smoking was permitted in a questionable area?

    There are a number of entities complicit in this disaster…not the least of which is the FD’s apparent failure to inspect and be aware of their own exposure.

    Is the producer even blameless? Did some good old country club buddy broker fail to suggest sprinklers to the insd at the time the plans were being drawn? It’s not like that isn’t a furniture center.

    Seems we are too eager to point the finger at the other guy when our industry may not be free from guilt.

  • September 6, 2007 at 6:07 am
    clm mgr says:
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    I wonder if he’ll have the same sentiments when the lawsuits start rolling in. The old “Fireman’s Rule” precluding lawsuits arising from injuries (or death) sustained in the line of duty by firemen and policemen is fast falling into disfavor in the Courts, and many jurisdictions will allow such claims these days. You can bet the sharks are circling those poor bereaved families even as this is being written. What a waste…should have just let it burn. Would it seem unkind if one were to speculate that these firemen were helping themselves to free furniture when they were trapped?

  • September 7, 2007 at 1:30 am
    Curious says:
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    Anyone know who insured it? A large mattress unsprinklered storage facility and people are surprised that it burned to the ground?

  • September 7, 2007 at 4:03 am
    Greyboomer says:
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    Mr Reed, I don’t want to sound too “Hair Splitting” here but I believe very few Fire Protection Engineers would agree that a sprinkler system is designed to protect lives. Sprinklers are a property loss control system designed to protect the structure and its contents. By reducing the spread and often extinguishing a fire in the incipient stage they will by default provide protection to persons in the building from the spread of the fire. Sprinkler heads do not fuse and operate until the temperature in the area is well above temperatures most humans can survive.

  • March 1, 2018 at 10:25 pm
    Shonta Rogers says:
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    I worked for Mr. Goldstein at “The Leader” in Chattanooga, TN. In the late 80’s he was the kindest employer and was always mindful of our safety and general well being. He is a man of integrity and great character. This is a terrible event and I am sure he is heartsick for the loss of life.



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