Off-duty SC firefighter rescues 2 from fire at assisted living facility

St. Matthews Firefighter Suguan Benjamin followed the smoke to what would later be an all-hands fire

By Laura French

ST. MATTHEWS, S.C. — An off-duty volunteer South Carolina firefighter rescued two people from a burning assisted living facility on Tuesday. 

St. Matthews Firefighter Suguan "Shack" Benjamin happened to be in the area when he first noticed the smoke and followed it to the facility, according to WLTX. Outside he found the facility manager and seven residents who had already been evacuated but was told there were two residents still inside the building. 

Benjamin entered the burning facility and was able to safely remove the two remaining residents. Benjamin had already notified dispatch upon seeing the smoke, and St. Matthews fire crews soon arrived to battle the fire. 

St. Matthews Fire Chief Jeff Price said an "all call" was put out due to the age of the building, summoning additional crews from seven other departments to the scene. Firefighters battled the blaze for about 90 minutes before the flames were brought under control. No injuries were reported. 

"He did an amazing job, just an amazing job," fellow St. Matthews Firefighter Jeff Hammond said of Benjamin's off-duty response. 


Hats off to Chief Price and St. Matthews Fire Department and all other Fire Departments that assisted, with work they...

Posted by Town of St. Matthews on Tuesday, March 16, 2021


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