Neighbors of former Sofa Super Store site remember the pain

By Victoria

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Behind a tiny home on Pebble Road the Jenkins family lives with loss.

"Sometimes it seems like yesterday and sometimes I don't realize there was a building there," Ronnie Jenkins said.

"It was quick, that just kind of happened and it as like boom," Jessica Jenkins said.

Even the fence that's gone up in their backyard can't contain the memories of the night when the Sofa Super Store caught fire, right behind their home.

"We come out the back door and just looked up and it was just smoke," Ronnie Jenkins said.

It was so hot from the large furniture store fire that it seared the vinyl siding on their home. They got their two children out, then, ages three and nine.

"We were lucky, the wind had changed and the wind kept blowing that way," Jessica Jenkins said.

They grabbed the garden hose, feeling helpless as they watched, waited and listened. Ronnie claims he could even hear the beating on the wall from the man who was trapped in the repair center. That man, Jonathan Tyrell was saved but little did the Jenkins know at the time, so many other lives were lost.

"Things had calmed down back here. We walked around front to see what was going on, to see the front of the building," Ronnie Jenkins said.

Home, five years later, looks different. All that's left of the giant furniture store is a charred table frame. The trees have grown without the building's shade, big enough to hold a playhouse now for three. For the Jenkins, their backyard and the memorial site is a reminder to them to live life fully without fear.

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