Reporting Gigi Barnett
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A fire station reopens in West Baltimore. The move comes after years of controversial rotating fire house closures.
Gigi Barnett reports how the station could improve service.
This is the home of Engine 20 and Truck 18.
In West Baltimore, most folks know the Walbrook Fire Station well.
“It gives us security in the neighborhood and people look forward to the fire house,” Phillip Brown, who lives near the Walbrook Fire Station, said.
But for the last year, the city closed the station. It wanted to renovate the 117-year-old building. All the work is done now and this weekend marks the official re-opening.
“If you see the before pictures, it really wasn’t a safe environment or it wasn’t conducive to the type of work that we were asking them to do,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.
Now the station has a new break room, a gym and living quarters. Firefighters like Glenn Bonner say it’s good to be back in at the historic fire house in the old neighborhood.
“It’s good now, way better than we had it before,” Bonner said.
The $600,000, one-year renovation ended in late December. Firefighters moved in a few days later and this station has been up and running ever since.
“We did a really good job renovating this station and we’re glad to have them back,” said one person.
The fire department says response time in the Walbrook area dropped slightly over the last year. With this new station back online, response times are expected to get better.