DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX)
Diamondhead firefighters are about to get a new home. Demolition work started Tuesday on the old facility. The new station will mean a safer building with more space for firemen. Demolition crews had the fire house practically leveled in less than three hours.
"There is some relief that it's down and we can see something started. I just wish they went back up as quickly as they came down," said Fire Chief Jerry Dubuisson.
Watching the old fire station come down was bitter-sweet for long-time firefighter Rodney Aguzin. He started his career in the 35-year-old building.
"There's a lot of old memories in that building," said Assistant Chief Rodney Aguzin.
He started at the bottom and climbed his way up the firefighting ladder there.
Aguzin said, "I did go up the ranks, from firefighter, then captain, then assistant chief while located in that building."
For the firemen the new building is all about space, the old fire station was built for one firefighter and a chief. It's about 1,800 square feet.
"It had one bedroom in it and as the years went by we had to put twin beds in the bedroom, then bunk beds, then finally we had to tear out a storage room and convert that to a bedroom," explained Aguzin.
The parking bays will remain in place and a new 3,000 square foot building will go up in the same area. It will have three bedrooms in the sleeping quarters.
Chief Dubuisson said, "And our conference room, things of that nature we can do training and host public meetings etc. A lot of the same functions, but in a better and larger work space."
The cost is about $238,000.
"This is going to be funded over a 10-year period basically, like we do with a fire truck at a low interest loan. So it won't accumulate a lot of debt on the community," said Dubuisson.
The new building is expected to be ready to occupy by late Summer or early Fall.
Firefighters will operate out of a temporary trailer behind the building until the new fire station is ready for them.