New database created by Upstate firefighters aims to save lives

CHESNEE, SC (FOX Carolina) –

The Chesnee Community fire department has created a new database, following a fatal fire in Chesnee that took the life of one Upstate woman.

“Most of the time when we get sent out to a call, we’re already behind the ball. Firefighters are fighting against the clock day to day on this job. Every call is different,” firefighter Jeffrey Lowe said.

One call, just 10 days ago was different for these Chesnee firefighters.

“I think this was the first fire fatality we had in about 10 years,” Captain Bruce Fowler said.

A ten year streak with no lives lost in a blaze. Until this fire, a fire that injured one man and killed 57-year-old Cheryl Henderson.

“There was a lot of O2 cylinders inside the house, and that she was in a room and turned out, she was nowhere near close to the room she was supposed to be in,” Fowler said.

There’s no telling whether knowing the fact this woman was on oxygen ahead of time would have changed the tragic outcome, but the loss led to a new idea among the Chesnee community firefighters.

“It is a matter of life or death from the information from this database.”

A new database that tells these firefighters before they even leave the station if the person they’re trying to save has special needs.

“It would be the floor plans of the house, the nearest fire hydrant to the location of the house. It advises how many cars should be in the yard, how many people are in the house, it even covers even how many pets.”

So when their race against the clock begins, knowledge of their surroundings gives them the upper hand.

“The database would be good, just for the purpose of knowing what we’re walking into,” Fowler said.

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