Charleston, SC – As the tenth anniversary of the Sofa Super Store fire that claimed the lives of nine City of Charleston Firefighters draws near, the Charleston Fire Department has committed to paying a very special, and personal tribute to each of those nine. Starting Friday, the Department’s Facebook page will feature very personalized tribute from members of the department each day. Today, we join the Charleston Fire Department in remembering Firefighter Melvin Champaign.
A tribute to Firefighter Melvin Champaign
Submitted by Assistant Chief Joseph Roberts
Melvin was born on March 9, 1961, on James Island. He was the son of Mrs. Stella Champaign Ragin. Melvin had three children, Evieon, Isiah and Ruben. Melvin received his education at James Island schools and attended Alpha Omega Bible College. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1981, serving for eight years. Melvin was a member of the James Island United Congregational Church. His destiny was to become a minister. Melvin joined the Charleston Fire Department in 2005. Melvin was assigned to Engine Company 19 which was located at Station 16.
Melvin will always be remembered as a “philanthropist”. He was always willing to give his time to others. He served as a youth advocate leader, musician, choir director, assistant superintendent of the Sunday School, and Sunday School teacher. He was also a member of the Brotherhood, president of People Helping People Through Unity, instructor of Unity Tae Kwando School, president of Safe 4 Life, president of the Christian Brotherhood in Korea, and founder of the Restoration Boy’s Club.
During Melvin’s short time with the Charleston Fire Department, he was given the nickname “pimp daddy”. Melvin was given that nickname for showing up to the first day of recruit school wearing a leather hat with a feather in it. He was known for being a sharp dresser and having “GQ” looks. Those looks were the result of his “million-dollar” smile and warm, giving personality. Although Melvin was only with the fire department for two years, his future was bright. Melvin will always be remembered as a generous man who gave and gave and kept on giving. What he gave on June 18, 2007, with the rest of the Charleston Nine, will have him forever remembered.
Charleston Fire Department