DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Fire stations are supposed to respond to emergencies, but, on the night of October 20, Station 41 was the one needing help. Three months later, there’s not much left of the so-called “Preston Royal Fire Department” except debris.
“It’s just unbelievable to see that everyday,” said Ron Hodgkinson, who lives next door. He said his chose the complex in part because of its proximity to the station.
“It’s more than a fire station,” he said. “It’s a landmark. It’s important for it to be here. It’s important because a lot of the people that live here are older.”
Station 41 is due to be bulldozed in the next month, and fire officials said a new station is tentatively scheduled for completion in January 2022. The eight firefighters, truck, and engine have been moved to two stations several miles away. But for some in the 6 1/2 square miles Station 41 served, that’s a troubling wait.
“We need something right away. We need something close in this proximity,” said Hodgkinson.
“If it’s going to be 2 years, we want to make sure that we’re going to have engines and trucks and ambulances that can respond to that geographical area,” said Council Member Jennifer Staubach Gates.
Council Member Gates said the city is looking into opening a temporary station nearby, though no site has been publicly identified. Hodgkinson is hopeful that will happen, knowing every minute in an emergency matters.
“It’s unbelievable. In a life or death situation, that’s important,” he said.
Council Member Gates said they are monitoring response times in the area. A fire department spokesperson said there’s no indication they’re suffering.