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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 FIRE CAPTAIN MIKE BENKE, 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 Fire Captain Mike Benke, a twenty-nine-year veteran fireman. His church family at Palmetto Community Church held a vigil for the fallen member, and will continue to comfort his wife Kimberly and their son and daughter with their love; 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 Senate:
That the members of the South Carolina Senate, 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 Fire Captain Mike Benke 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 Captain Mike Benke.
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