A massive multi-alarm fire Friday afternoon in Columbia left one firefighter dead and seven injured.
Columbia-Richland Fire Department officials reported that 2nd shift fire crews arrived at the Tropical Ridge Apartments off Stoneridge Dr. around 4:15 p.m. Multiple people had to be rescued and all hands were on deck, according to officials.
Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford confirmed that an Irmo firefighter died while fighting the apartment fire. According to Rutherford, the victim was identified as 25-year-old James Muller of Columbia.
SCSFA President Josh Holzheimer, Executive Committee + staff offer our condolences to the family of James Muller & the @IrmoFire after Muller died from injuries sustained during an apartment fire this afternoon.We ask that you keep Muller's family + Irmo Fire in your thoughts. pic.twitter.com/ln3WS4cA5F— SC State Firefighters' Association (@scfirefighters) May 27, 2023
The Columbia-Richland Fire Department said Muller was one of seven total firefighters that went to area hospitals for injuries. Five firefighters with Columbia-Richland Fire and two with Irmo Fire were injured.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to our partners at Irmo Fire District and our many dedicated firefighters following this tragic day," Columbia-Richland Fire said on Twitter.
Two other tenants in the apartment building were also transported to local hospitals for injuries. The building suffered heavy damage and 19 people are displaced as a result of the fire, according to officials.
Columbia-Richland Fire, SLED and SC State Fire are continuing to investigate the cause of the fire.
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