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Flooding temporarily shuts down firehall

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By Cindy Simpson

Rockwood Fire Department’s Station No. 2 on South Kingston Avenue is temporarily closed after heavy rainwater came through the rear walls and flooded the building.
A crack in the wall had water pouring through it, and water seeped in elsewhere.
Even the firefighters’ living quarters were flooded during the heavy rainfall that fell over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Fire equipment was moved to Station No. 1, and the ambulance service moved to Midtown.
“We had to turn the power off and everything,” said recorder Becky Ruppe. “We don’t want the ambulance service to leave, and if they could park the ambulance outside, they could stay,”
Assistant Fire Chief Matt Crabtree said officials would love for the ambulance service to stay in Rockwood, and the ambulance service could park outside and continue to use the living quarters in the building.
The ambulance service has been at Rockwood rent-free for at least 15 years.
“Nobody has asked them to leave. We do not have any space in the bay to park an ambulance due to the fact we had to move Sation No. 2,” Crabtree said.
Scott Stout, deputy director of emergency services, said the decision was made partly out for security and also because some of the medication on the vehicle could not be exposed to high temperatures.
“A lot of them, with the heat, they are no good,” Stout said.
He said a bay offers shading, compared to a vehicle sitting in the sun.
Stout also said there was a concern the ambulance could be broken into if left outside.
Part of Rockwood’s Station No. 2 is the remains of the basement of the old Rockwood Methodist Church, which burned in the late 1950s.
The fire department built the station there in the 1960s.
Part of the outside walls are the original church basement walls, while the interior and front were built in the 1960s.
Crabtree guesses part of the building could be at least 100 years old.
While the city doesn’t have an abundance of funds to replace Station No. 2, there are grant funds available for such projects.
A fire representative from Municipal Technical Advisory Service will be in Rockwood at the end of the month to talk to the department, and what to do about the fire station will be one of the topics.
Ruppe feels safe with the one station for now, especially now that an overpass on Tedder Street prevents trains from stopping the fire department from getting to a fire.

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