Brandon Thompson was one of the youngest firefighters who died battling the flames at the Sofa Superstore. He was 27-years-old and passion for the fire department flowed through his veins. Brandon’s father, Frank Thompson, calls his son “as tough as alligator skin.”
Thompson says, “Two brothers that are from Summerville that are firemen in Charleston told me one night, if my house was on fire, I want Brandon to be on the end of the hose. And that’s a large compliment. That’s what he wanted to be, on the hose.”
Ever since he was 13-years-old, and became a junior fireman at the Pine Ridge volunteer fire department.
Thompson says, “He got to ride on the truck and stay out of the way.”
Brandon became a paid firefighter with the City of Charleston Fire Department, but didn’t forget his roots. He continued to serve as a volunteer in Pine Ridge for the rest of his life.
Thompson says, “It’s in the blood, he loved the fire service.”
Now, the station Brandon loved so much stands as a memorial. The building bears his name, photos and awards line the walls. His dad says, those things never mattered to Brandon.
Thompson says, “Awards to him, it’s ‘thank you that’s nice, I appreciate it, I’m just doing my job’.”
Because he wasn’t there for the recognition.
Thompson says, “I think it’s the dedication of helping people.”
He says even today, as fire departments study the Sofa Superstore fire for training, those nine men are still helping to save lives.
“They all work on the scenario of the fire. So a lot of educational things have come out of this. The nine fireman are serving the fire service.”