Charleston Fire Department Remembers Firefighter Melvin Champaign


Firefighter Melvin Champaign

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.

Joseph Roberts
Assistant Chief
Charleston Fire Department

About Colt Roy

Editor and Photojournalist for Currently employed by the Department of Defense as a Firefighter/EMT. Past North Charleston Fire Department and Whitesville Fire Department. Colt is also the owner of 3 House Photography where his work that doesn't go to is published. You can also follow Colt's work at Heliweb Magazine where he serves as the Online Content Editor. Colt uses Canon gear and is currently shooting with 5D Mkiii and 6D cameras along with the 24-105 F4L, 70-200 2.8L IS ii, and 14 2.8L ii Canon lenses along with the Sigma 50 1.4 Art and 150-600 Sport lenses. Colt also uses a 360Fly HD 360 camera to capture events as they unfold.