Ceremony held to honor 72nd anniversary of Woolworth building fire

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 2:12 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Thursday marks the somber anniversary of a fire fight that resulted in the largest loss of life in the history of the Charleston Fire Department.

The Charleston Fire Department, Charleston firefighter’s local union 317 and Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin gathered Thursday morning to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the Woolworth Building fire with a moment of silence, bell ringing and wreath laying.

Woolworth’s, located on the corner of Quarrier and Capitol streets, caught fire March 4, 1949.

Seven members of the Charleston Fire Department died during the fire fight and at least 15 additional firefighters were injured, two critically.

It was the biggest casualty count for a fire department on a fire in the United States at the time.

This remains the largest loss of life for the Charleston Fire Department.

The names of these seven firemen were memorialized on a bronze marker that still hangs on the building that now stands at the exact location where they died.

“The fire service, you know, we protect people that we don’t even know, so it’s good to carry on the tradition of honoring those that paid the ultimate sacrifice doing the job that we do,” Myron Boggess, President, Charleston Professional Firefighters Local 317 said Thursday at the ceremony.

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