Whenever they are needed, they will go. If it’s the dead of winter, in the middle of the night, no matter the time, a firefighter will respond when the emergency call goes out.

It doesn’t matter whether they are on a city payroll or a volunteer, firefighters have that adrenaline inside them to help wherever needed at a moment’s notice.

We’re sure the firefighters in Charleston, S.C., were feeling that rush on Monday when they were called to a furniture store fire: What will we find? Is everyone out? What will be the plan of attack?

Sadly, a quick turn of events caused the roof to fall on firefighters after they entered the building to look for two people inside. Nine firefighters died. It is the worst loss of life for a firefighting incident since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Also sadly, what happened in South Carolina could happen here just as easy with all the large old buildings and industrial facilities, although a smaller house fire poses just as great of a risk to a firefighter, who faces flames, falling debris and possible collapse of the floor underneath.

Everyday, numerous firefighters report to work at the Clinton Fire Department; volunteer firefighters in smaller towns wear scanners that could send them to the scene of an emergency within minutes of the tone being sounded.

Each time, they are faced with peril and their families face the possibility of them not returning home.

After seeing what can go wrong, as it did Monday in Charleston, our best wishes and prayers go out for our firefighters to be safe when they are in harm’s way.