Community raises money for Charleston 9 Memorial

By Stefanie

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- It's been nearly five years since June of 2007, when a fire took nine firefighters' lives and changed a community forever.

Saturday, folks honored and remembered the fallen Charleston Nine. A fundraising benefit was held at the Faith Assembly of God Church in Summerville.

"What we want them to do is never forgot, the sacrifice of the nine was everything firefighters are willing to do," said Chief John Tippett of the City of Charleston Police Department.

The Charleston Nine benefit was organized by Lisa Simpson who works as a mortgage broker and says her job takes so much from the community; it was time to give back.

"It's the five year anniversary and they still don't have enough money to put up a proper memorial for nine men that died trying to do their job, so it's time I thought I'd help," Simpson said.

With over 79 venders, food, music and games, all the money raised from Saturday's event goes to complete Phase two of the Charleston Nine Memorial on Savannah Highway, located at the site of the old Sofa Super Store.

"There's no big pile of money somewhere so it has to come from the community to get that memorial up and say thank you," said Simpson.

"This is a very touching outpouring of community support that we're very humbled to experience," Tippett said. "It just gives us some comfort that the community still remembers."

ABC News 4 will air a special half hour broadcast at 7:30 p.m. on June 18, commemorating the five year anniversary of the Sofa Super Store fire.