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Construction of new Waco fire station underway

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Posted at 7:13 PM, Jan 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-14 21:17:05-05

A new fire station, which is currently under construction, will be complete in the fall. 

The building will be located in the 4500 block of Bagby Avenue near Heart of Texas Goodwill Industries. According to Waco Fire Chief Bobby Tatum, a 2015 study recommended Fire Station 5 to be relocated to Central Texas Marketplace to improve emergency response coverage.

He added at the time, the previous facility, built in 1958, didn't have the height required to fit modern fire trucks. In addition, he said it had extensive repairs due to its age and construction. 

Therefore, Tatum said the staff recommended to relocate the facility instead of paying to rebuild the facility at the same location and buy a new fire truck. 

"There were overlaps in the stations that we had so we decided to relocate this station to give us the ability to provide better coverage to the city and this area," Tatum said. "We were able to move our station to a more centrally located area to cover the Central Texas Marketplace, which is an area that is expanding."

Neighbors who live near the 4500 block of Bagby Avenue, where the future fire station will be located, are looking forward to their new neighbor to open its doors.

"If the fire station is really close, it will help us. For a lot of older people around here is really helpful," John Liendo said.

Martha Thomas is also excited about the move but her family has concerns about the noise. 

"We don't know how loud it would be or what it would interrupt, or if it would cause all the dogs to bark because we do have a lot of dogs in the neighborhood, but other than that, I still see the benefits," Thomas said.

Firefighters from station five have been operating out of the Central Fire station in downtown Waco since 2017. After the $2.7 million project is completed, firefighters will be able to respond to calls from Bagby Avenue to areas near the Central Texas Marketplace faster.

"Station #5 will also be equipped with special vehicle extrication tools since many of their calls will be motor vehicle accidents on I-35 an Hwy 6 area," Tatum said.

In October, firefighters are expected to move into the new facility, which Tatum said will have high visibility and easy accessibility. 

The Waco Fire Department is also relocating Fire Station 6 and its administrative offices to the former 25th Street Theater. Crews are expected to break ground on the $5.1 million project this year. 

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