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Midtown fire station expected to be renovated with new safety designs, practices

Posted at 6:47 AM, Jan 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-06 08:47:29-05

TUCSON, Ariz. - A midtown fire station has been empty of firefighters for over a year, after a kitchen fire forced them to set up base at a nearby hotel.

That midtown fire station is fire station 11, which is located near Alvernon Way and Broadway Boulevard.

In 2018, a kitchen fire at the fire station forced firefighters to stay and dispatch from a nearby Double Tree hotel.

However, this year Tucson Fire Department officials say they hope to be able to move those firefighters back into their fire station after some much needed renovations.

Tucson Fire Department Assistant Chief Joe Gulotta told KGUN9 funds from Tucson Delivers will be allocated toward the fire stations remodel.

Assistant Chief Gulotta said not only will repairs be made to the kitchen, where the fire damage happened, but new safety designs and practices will also be incorporated.

Currently turnout gear is in the same room as workout equipment, something Assistant Chief Gulotta said will no longer be the case after the remodel.

"Well the turnout gear being stored on the apparatus bay floor gets impregnated with all that diesel exhaust and then our firefighters are being cross contaminated and you know, getting sick from this," said Gulotta.

Assistant Chief Gulotta added turnout gear has to be properly washed every single time after firefighters fight fires and the space they have at fire station 11 is too small to safely continue doing this.

"Our primary goal is to improve the health and safety of our firefighters," he said.

Assistant Chief Gulotta added because they incorporated these new safety designs the plan for the fire stations renovation has exceeded the percentage of space they are allowed to take on the property.

Because of this, TFD is holding a community meeting on Monday, January 6, 2020 at fire station 11 for neighbors in the area. During the community meeting they hope to explain all of the planned changes to the community.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m.

TFD officials said they hope to begin renovation work on fire station 11 this year.