Fire Station No. 3, Toledo's oldest firehouse, getting a face lift

A drawing illustrates the proposal for Toledo’s oldest firehouse.
A drawing illustrates the proposal for Toledo’s oldest firehouse.

Toledo’s oldest firehouse seemed doomed last year, but after some coaxing, the Bell administration reversed its plans to shutter the building. Drawings released Thursday showed the addition of two bays and a face-lift for North Toledo’s aging Fire Station No. 3.

“We worked closely with The Collaborative formulating the plan,” Toledo Fire Chief Luis Santiago said. “What they have come up with is a nice fit for the neighborhood.”

Toledo City Council earlier this week agreed to spend $16,000 to buy property next to the station to construct two bays that will be attached to the building on Bush Street.

The city will spend $1.7 million for the renovation, which has been approved.

Chief Santiago closed the 85-year-old building in September because of cracks in the floor of the fire-engine bay.

He said it was unsafe to park 45,000-pound fire trucks on the compromised concrete floor. The fire trucks and personnel were moved temporarily, but indefinitely, across the Maumee River to Station 13 on Front Street in East Toledo, about a mile away from the firehouse on Bush Street.

During a public hearing in October, the chief showed councilmen and about a dozen other people pictures of the cosmetic and structural problems at the station, which was built in 1927.

The plan to renovate and expand the station was reached after a public hearing that drew neighbors opposing the closure.

Councilman Joe McNamara, who chose to kick off his mayoral election campaign in front of Fire Station 3, argued in favor of keeping the station open.

“I am obviously supportive of keeping it open and maintaining a neighborhood anchor,” Mr. McNamara said. “It shows my commitment to neighborhoods and public safety.”

The city also plans to spend $2.7 million for a new fire station, which will become Fire Station 12 — the name of a former firehouse at Suder Avenue and Manhattan Boulevard that was closed in 1980. It is to be built near Suder Avenue and Chase Street, the chief said. The new station’s service area will span from north of Galena Street to south of Point Place.

Contact Ignazio Messina at or 419-724-6171.