Kingsbury fire station to be razed |

Kingsbury fire station to be razed

by Timothy Bowman

Sometimes dalmatians and bright red trucks need a new home.

Station 1 of the Tahoe Douglas Fire District will be torn down and replaced with a new state-of-the-art station at the same Upper Kingsbury location. The old Kingsbury station has stood on the grade for almost 40 years.

“In the early ’60s (Station 1) was built by the volunteers,” said Battalion Chief Ken Poohachoff. “It was built by the Kingsbury Fire District. There were two fire districts (in Tahoe) in those days and they merged to become the Tahoe Douglas Fire District.”

The TDFD plans to have the old station torn down by May 1. Station 1 has already been cleared of non-essential equipment. The new station is scheduled to be finished in the same location by the fall.

During the interim, Station 1 will operate out of temporary structures on Kingsbury Grade at Logging Road Lane.

“We don’t just want the homeowners to think that we are abandoning the hill,” Poohachoff said. “We are going to be operating with a trailer for the personnel and then we have a tent structure to keep the one engine out of the weather.”

Poohachoff said Station 1’s temporary move down the grade will not have an effect on emergency response time.

“We don’t anticipate any delays in response time,” Poohachoff said. “Once we go in temporary quarters, we will be just a little farther down the road.”

The TDFD has been planning on rebuilding the Kingsbury Fire Station for two years. Poohachoff said the rebuilding is overdue.

“It is a long time coming,” Poohachoff said. “All of our (Tahoe Douglas) stations have been upgraded and remodeled and this was the last one. This building should serve the area for a 50 year minimum. In this area has been a lot of growth. We did not want to be caught insufficient years down the road.”

Tahoe Douglas firefighters go through a yearly rotation of all the fire stations in the district. Capt. Curtis Fields said many will be happy to have the new station on Kingsbury.

“It is going to be great,” Fields said. “The old station was cold and drafty and it seemed like you always got sick up here.”

The new station will cost the TDFD an estimated 1.2 million dollars. It will come equipped with three truck bays and will have enough sleeping space to accommodate four firefighters. The current station only has two bays and enough space to accommodate three firefighters.

The TDFD currently keeps one fire engine and a brush rig at station 1. They are considering using the extra bay to keep an ambulance at the Kingsbury Station. Poohachoff said an ambulance would be a great asset due to the high number of medical calls from nearby Heavenly Valley Ski Resort.

“Calls to Heavenly Valley have gone up every year,” Poohachoff said. “Currently the closest ambulance to this station comes out of the Round Hill station.”

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