Firefighter Quits After Saving Woman From Fire, States Chief’s Response Was “Sarcastic”

Charleston, SC (WCIV) – A Charleston firefighter is speaking about why he quit the department after saving a woman’s life. He says he didn’t like the way he was treated by the chief after the large fire at a historic home on Smith Street in July.

Fire crews from several departments rushed to the 3-alarm fire and battled flames and smoke for several hours.

“We were there for about 90 minutes, and we’re told that we could take our air packs off. Because of that, we went into a defensive posture, meaning nobody can go in or out of the building because it’s no longer safe for anyone to be in it,” former Charleston firefighter Cameron Day said.

A woman came home to find flames raging through all three levels of the house. She ran inside to try and save her cat.

“We did have one occupant break through the fire line and head back into the structure,” Interim Chief John Tippett said in a July press conference.

Day ran in to save the woman, and he did so without his air pack.

“She went up to the third floor in the house, so I immediately, as soon as I saw her, I ran up the steps,” Day said.

Day said if he had waited, she would have likely died.

“The standard’s two minutes to put all that gear on. Two minutes she didn’t have. Two minutes. When I found her, she was crouched over and 20 feet in. A few more seconds and she would have been passed out on the floor, then would have ultimately burned up and died,” Day said.

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About Colt Roy

Editor and Photojournalist for SConFire.com. 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 SConFire.com is published. You can also follow Colt's work at Heliweb Magazine where he is primary correspondent for coverage of helicopter aviation relating to helicopter air ambulance services and aerial firefighting. Colt uses Canon gear and is currently shooting with a 6D and 50D cameras, 24-105L, 70-200 2.8L, 12-24 F/4.5-5.6 EX.