Local firefighters grieve for those killed in SC - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Paducah, KY

Local firefighters grieve for those killed in SC

Local firefighters grieve for those killed in SC
By: Erica Byfield

PADUCAH, KY. - Local firefighters react to the news of losing nine of their own.

"It's really tough when brothers lose their lives," said Chief Redell Benton, still trying to wrap his mind around what happened.

"You hope it never happen, but every morning when you leave home coming to work there's always a chance you won't return," Benton said. 

Thankfully, in his 36 years with the Paducah Fire Department he's never lost a fellow firefighter in the line of duty.

And that's the reason why the tragedy in South Carolina got him thinking.

"Anytime we lose brother firefighters it touches us just like it does families out in South Carolina because it could have been us," he said.

Chief Benton says it will take a while for the sting of this heartbreaking event to wear off in his department.

"I know they are taking it hard," but when the smoke clears he hopes both fire fighters and everyday citizens take something way from this, specifically the importance of brotherhood, training and safety.

"The more you know about a building the better you can handle the situation.  We try to keep ourselves educated in what's in the building," Benton said. 

Benton said Monday's disaster makes it all too clear.  "It can happen to us just like it did the brothers in South Carolina."     

Therefore, right now he's asking the public to "keep us in your prayers" as his department and others across the nation attempt to heal.

The International Association of Fire Chiefs called on all firefighters in the country to observe a moment of silence on Tuesday to honor the nine who died in South Carolina.

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