NORTH TOLEDO CREW MOVED OUT

Fire station No. 3 closed; city cites buckling floor

9/15/2012
BY TAYLOR DUNGJEN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Fire Station No. 3, at 701 Bush St. went into service in 1927, when fire equipment was not as heavy as modern-day vehicles. The station is closed and its firefighters and equipment were moved to station No. 13, at 1899 Front St.
Fire Station No. 3, at 701 Bush St. went into service in 1927, when fire equipment was not as heavy as modern-day vehicles. The station is closed and its firefighters and equipment were moved to station No. 13, at 1899 Front St.

Concerns for firefighter safety closed a North Toledo fire station Thursday night after crews discovered that the floor had buckled.

City officials say they are weighing construction of a building after crews, equipment, and a fire engine from Station 3, 701 Bush St., had to be moved to East Toledo's Station 13, 1899 Front St, said Toledo fire Lt. Matthew Hertzfeld.

Station 13 is about 1.5 miles from Station 3. Four firefighters typically work a 24-hour shift at the station.

Lieutenant Hertzfeld said there's ample space at Station No. 13 to house the Station No. 3 crew.

Crews had noticed a crack in the floor before, but even with the damage, the floor was still level. On Thursday, firefighters realized the floor had buckled, creating a precarious situation for personnel and equipment.

"Chief Santiago didn't want to take any chances with this," Lieutenant Hertzfeld said. "We could have a rig back in and fall through or firefighters could be stepping off the rig. Who knows what could happen?"

Station No. 3 was first put into service in 1927, when fire trucks were not the multiton vehicles they are now.

A modern fire truck can weigh about 45,000 pounds. With increased emergency runs, trucks go in and out of a station sometimes more than 20 times during a 24-hour shift, Lieutenant Hertzfeld said, and that can take a toll on the building.

Fire officials don't expect the change in stations to affect calls for service very much, if at all. Other stations will help pick up calls for service, including Stations 7, 5, and 24. Stations 7 and 5 are in the central city; Station 24 is in North Toledo. Crews from 3 will also be able to get to their service area easily by using the Veterans' Glass City Skyway bridge, Lieutenant Hertzfeld said.

In 2011, the station made 2,817 fire and EMS runs.

Early in the evaluation process, fire department officials thought they would build a temporary garage next to Station 3 to house the engine.

On Friday, Lieutenant Hertzfeld said officials were rethinking that plan and probably would not build the garage, to save money. Instead, Station 3 firefighters would continue to report to Station 13 until a permanent solution is arrived at.

The lieutenant said building inspectors would have to evaluate the building, which could take time. 

In the meantime, the Bell administration is looking into the possibility of building a station a nearby, said spokesman Jen Sorgenfrei. A preliminary site being looked at is in Jamie Farr Park on Summit Street, according to a statement from the administration. 

The cost of such a station has been estimated at $3.5 million, the statement says.

The department dedicated a new east-side fire station, No. 6, at 1155 Oak St., on Tuesday, 

Contact Taylor Dungjenat tdungjen@theblade.comor 419-724-6054.