COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – A firefighter in South Carolina’s midlands has died after suffering injuries while responding to a large apartment fire on Friday afternoon.
Crews responded to a massive multi-alarm apartment fire at Tropical Ridge Apartments in Columbia just before 4:15 p.m., according to the Columbia-Richland Fire Department.
During an update Friday night, Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford confirmed that one firefighter with Irmo Fire District died after suffering injuries during the incident.
The firefighter was identified as James Muller.
He was one of seven firefighters that were sent to area hospitals for injuries including five from the Columbia-Richland Fire Department and two from Irmo Fire.
NBC affiliate WIS reported that multiple firefighters became trapped inside the structure.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to our partners at Irmo Fire District and our many dedicated firefighters following this tragic day,” said officials.
The building was significantly damaged and 19 people are displaced.
Officials say two tenants were also taken to an area hospital with unknown injuries.
Several people were rescued during the response.
Columbia Police, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, and South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association are investigating the cause of the fire and ask anyone with video footage from the incident to submit it online.