CHATTANOOGA, TN, June 22 — A memorial will be held tomorrow in Chattanooga for James. E. Drayton, 56, and Brad Baity, 37, two of the nine firefighters killed in the catastrophic Charleston sofa warehouse fire last Monday night, who were also stagehand members of Charleston-based IATSE Local 333.
Organized with the help of IA District 7, which is having its convention in the city this weekend, and Chattanooga-based Local 140, the memorial will take place at approximately 2:30 pm in the Convention Hall of the Sheraton Read Hotel, 877 Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN. The time is flexible due to the fact that the memorial will commence following the completion of business before the convention delegation on Saturday afternoon.
In Charleston today, approximately three dozen members of Local 333 donated their time to help with memorials to all nine firefighters, which were held in three venues, the North Charleston Coliseum, the Performing Arts Center and the Convention Center.
James E. Drayton had been a member of Local 333 since October, 1997, and Brad Baity since June 2003. Drayton, known as “Big Earl” and “Squirrel,” was a 32-year veteran of the department, and the most experienced of the nine firefighters killed. He leaves a wife and four children. Baity, a fire truck driver, had worked for the department for nine years, and is survived by his wife, five year-old son, parents, and sister.
Donations may be made to the: Fireman’s Memorial Fund c/o First Federal Bank 2434 Mall Drive North Charleston, SC 29406