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JOINING MOURNERS FROM ACROSS THE NATION IN EXPRESSING THE COLLECTIVE SORROW OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA UPON THE TRAGIC DEATH OF CHARLESTON FIREFIGHTER MELVIN CHAMPAIGN IN THE LINE OF DUTY AS HE COURAGEOUSLY BATTLED TO RESCUE CITIZENS TRAPPED IN A KILLER FIRE ON JUNE 18, 2007.
Whereas, at least twenty Charleston firefighters rushed into the monster fire on the Savannah Highway early on the night of June 18, 2007, intent on rescuing employees said to be trapped inside the flaming structure; and
Whereas, three firefighters from Fire Station 10 did not return to their station, while only one firefighter from Ashley Hall Plantation Road's Engine 16 came out alive, and none from Engine 19 survived the horror of a rapidly collapsing roof; and
Whereas, seasoned firefighters on the scene are still shocked and dismayed by the overwhelming speed of the conflagration, and by the distressing loss of their comrades in courage; and
Whereas, one of the fearless men who died in the tragic blaze was Firefighter Melvin Champaign, who brought his experiences from the James Island Fire Department with him when he joined the Charleston department two years ago. Proudly independent, he always wore a "big smile" on his face, and was becoming a part of the close-knit firemen's brotherhood; and
Whereas, The Charleston community, the State of South Carolina, and the people of this country are once again reminded of the valor demonstrated every day by this lost fireman and all the others who face injury and death while protecting the public from the devastations of fire. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
That the members of the South Carolina General Assembly, by this resolution, do hereby join mourners from across the nation in expressing the collective sorrow of the State upon the tragic death of Charleston Firefighter Melvin Champaign in the line of duty as he courageously battled to rescue citizens trapped in a killer fire on June 18, 2007.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the family of Firefighter Melvin Champaign.
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