Warwick. South Street firehouse demolished to make room for a new and larger complex

| 07 Dec 2020 | 01:03

Contractors demolished the Warwick Fire Department’s South Street firehouse on Tuesday, Nov 24, to make room for a new complex that is expected to be completed in the fall. on Tuesday Nov 24, 2020

Last July, voters in the Warwick Fire District approved a 30-year, $4.6 million bond for a new 10,000-square-foot, handicap accessible firehouse on South Street Extension.

“The new firehouse will be capable of housing the apparatus we need going forward, which will improve our ability to protect the community,” Fire Commissioner George Schick said following he vote. “We’re going to build a firehouse the community will be proud of.”

The process of building a new firehouse has been years in the making.

An engineering study in 2008 concluded the old facility, which opened in 1961 and had been added to many times over the years, could not be expanded nor could it house a new rescue truck because of the vehicle’s larger size.

In 2010, the fire district used $210,000 from its building reserves to buy the property next door. That created nearly an entire acre on which to build.

The new building will have a roomier apparatus bay, a 43-foot-by-40-foot multi-purpose room, a kitchen, a training room, 30 gear lockers (replacing the current six), handicap accessibility, a decontamination area and an engine exhaust removal system.

The fire commissioners estimate the cost to an average taxpayer within the district to be $43 per year. Currently the average taxpayer within the district pays $217 in fire tax. That would increase to $260.