Remembering their son: One of the Charleston 9

Louis Mulkey (File Photo)

By Natalie

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) - Louis Mulkey is frozen in time. His life now hangs on the walls of his parents' home. The youngest of two boys, Mulkey was a free-spirit, according to his mother Ann.

"Louis had a very kind heart, took after his mother. He cared about people," Mulkey said.

His passion could be seen on the court when he coached the Summerville boy's basketball team.

"He loved those children at the school," she said.

The Mulkeys say their son's passion was just as strong for firefighting.

"He was proud of it. He was proud of being a firefighter. And we were too. We were very proud for him," she said.

While becoming a firefighter was a surprise to the Mulkeys, his mother says she supported him and rarely worried about her son's dangerous profession.

"I was never afraid for him. Louis knew what he was doing," she said.

But suddenly on June 18, 2007, Ann and Mike Mulkey found themselves rushing to a furniture store fire where nine firefighters had been trapped and killed. When they found out their youngest son Louis was among the dead, life changed forever.

"It's hard to put in words. It really is hard to put in words but he's with us everyday," she said. "It gets overwhelming at times and we still have our moments. There are many nights here where we just sit and cry and you look over at his pictures and you say, why? I know you're not supposed to ask that question," she said.

The Mulkeys still visit their son's grave, his name, now a permanent fixture in Charleston's history and one they'll continue to honor.