Biloxi Builds New Woolmarket Fire Station

The response time for a Biloxi fire truck is supposed to be five minutes. That's often an impossible goal for the men at station eight.

Captain Curtis Lopez said that station's coverage map includes all of Woolmarket. So some fire runs can take as long as 12 minutes.

"Basically, we've got one pumper, two tankers, and a brush truck that covers this area," he said.

Additional fire protection for the Woolmarket area is on the way -- especially near the Eagle Point subdivision south of I-10. Biloxi is turning a lot on Oaklawn into a second Woolmarket fire station.

Biloxi Fire Chief David Roberts was at the Monday groundbreaking ceremony.

"This will give us the response time we need for this area," he said. Chief Roberts said when the new $950,000 firehouse opens in December, "It will give us more manpower in the Woolmarket area."

David Fayard is the area's councilman.

"It will improve the response time, help protect the citizens," he said. "It's going to be a very nice complex when the whole thing is finished."

Councilman Fayard used the words "the whole thing" because Biloxi is building more than a fire station. A house behind the fire station lot is being turned into a small Woolmarket community center. There's also going to be a walking track built on the 22 acre property.

"This is a step in the right direction," the councilman said. "I think this is the first step. We need to take some more though."

According to Biloxi's mayor, a firehouse south of I-10 will make it easier for firemen stationed in Woolmarket to cover the entire community as quickly as possible.

"This is a great day for the city of Biloxi," Mayor A.J. Holloway said.

Biloxi actually has two fire stations under construction. One is in Woolmarket. The other one is near the point. The East End fire station on Howard Avenue is being rebuilt. It's the first time in 70 years Biloxi has built two fire stations at the same time.