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Motorcycle club, mom Charleston 9 victim have ideas to beautify Sofa Super Store site

Sofa Super Store Memorial site.jpg

It's been nearly nine years since nine firefighters were killed in the Sofa Super Store fire. Now there are new efforts to revamp the memorial on Savannah Highway in time for the 10-year anniversary.

The Fire and Iron Motorcycle Club wants to replace the gravel walkway at the site of the fire with special bricks. They say it gets dusty sometimes, and when it rains, the gravel can be washed away.

Some of the members of the motorcycle club worked with the Charleston 9. Many more are firefighters now.

"Nine guys died trying to save one civilian. The fact they laid their life down for that is tremendous. This is a place you can remember them and reflect," said Matthew Schneider with the Fire and Iron Motorcycle Club, who was working the night of the fire. "I use this as an area to reflect, think of good memories with the guys, especially ones I was close with, spread the message about who the nine guys were."

Ann Mulkey's son Louis was one of the nine who perished that June 18.

"It's hard, it's still hard," she said.

But in an open field, Mulkey and the members of Fire and Iron see opportunity. And they hope people will buy a brick that will help replace the walkway and give people a personal connection to the hallowed ground.

"Bricks can personalize it for people of all walks of life, whether tied to fire department or not," said Corey Hanson, another club member.

"I would love to see like an English Charleston garden, very serene and beautiful," Mulkey said.

Organizers say they haven't finalized any of those plans yet, but Mulkey calls the men her miracle guys working to honor the memories of her son and eight others.

"They're gone. You can;t be with them but you can be part of them here. So it's hard but yet it's peaceful," Mulkey said.

City officials say they are working with the group on the brick walkway plan but they are not sure what else they will be able to do.

"The city applauds these efforts to raise money for this important cause and looks forward to working with the families, our firefighters, and other concerned citizens to make additional improvements to the site," city officials said in a statement.

There are two sizes of bricks. A 4x8 brick with room for three lines of text sells for $100. An 8x8 brick that can hold six lines of text is $150. To order a brick or get more information, click here: fireandiron28.com.

The group is also holding a fundraiser next month.


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