YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown’s Fire Chief says many of his fire houses are old, and the weight of newer and heavier equipment is making things more difficult. One station has had to close for repairs, but the chief wants to see if others need work, too.
Less than a day after he closed down one of Youngstown’s two east side fire stations, Chief Barry Finley showed First News exactly why he says he had no other choice.
“Because the only other alternative would be to allow the truck to stay here, in the station, knowing the floor is bad,” said Finley.
Concrete has started falling in big chunks from the basement ceiling, right below the garage floor where the fire truck is housed.
This station dates back to the mid-1930’s when fire trucks weighed only 10,000 or 11,000 pounds and carried just 100 gallons of water.
“This truck, for this station, 750 gallons of water it holds. Not to mention all the personnel, all the equipment, all the tools. That adds considerable weight,” Finley said.
The weight issue is not a new one. The chief says wooden supports were added 10 or 12 years ago to help reinforce the concrete.
But as the floor continues to sag, the supports are starting to move.
“And it would only be a matter of time before something bad would happen,” Finley said.
While repairs are made, Engine-12 will be housed at the main station downtown where it will continue covering this part of the east side along with Eingine-6 at Oak and Shehy.
Finley admits response times will be longer, but he hopes the problems will be manageable.
In the meantime, Finley has concerns about both Station-6 and 15 on the west side which also have basements.
“Now I need to go and check out the other stations to make sure that nothing else is going on with those floors as well,” Finley said.
Repairs are expected to take a couple months.