November 15, 2013
Irmo Firefighters 500px
Members of the Irmo (S.C.) Fire Department, left, and associates from BI-LO store No. 5442 in Columbia, S.C., right, celebrate Irmo Fire District Appreciation Day Nov. 3. The event commemorates the firefighters’ actions to save the store from a fire Oct. 21.​

At about 1 a.m. on Oct. 21, firefighters from the Irmo Fire Department in Columbia, S.C., saw smoke coming from the BI-LO located near the station and rushed to the scene. Their speedy efforts likely saved the store from a destructive fire.

Before a call was even placed to the local 911 dispatcher, the firefighters already had knocked the store’s door down and were heading in to take on the fire.

The store was closed for several days, but if it wasn’t for the firefighters’ quick response and proactive work, the damage would have been significantly worse, said Mike Dorroh, store director of BI-LO No. 5442.

Grateful store associates wanted to do more than say “thank you” to the firefighters, who are also loyal customers themselves. On Nov. 3, the store hosted “Irmo Fire District Appreciation Day” in its parking lot. The family-friendly event allowed customers to meet the local firefighters, view a fire truck from the local station and to give back by purchasing a $2 lunch (hot dog, chips and a drink). All proceeds were donated to the Irmo Fire District.

“We all appreciate the heroic acts constantly performed by these firefighters every day, but it’s impossible to explain the level of gratitude when one of these acts directly impacts you,” Dorroh said. “We were thrilled to host the appreciation day and raise money for these first responders that have done so much for our community.”

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