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Petition to save Grandin fire station may be pointless

ROANOKE,Va. – A call to save a firehouse in one of Roanoke’s most historic neighborhoods is underway.

City council has approved a plan to demolish the Grandin fire station that has stood for nearly 100 years.

24 hours ago, a petition to save the Grandin fire station went up online that opposes the city’s plan to knock down the old fire station and build a new one its place.

The petition’s creator, Mark Lynn Ferguson, said both the Roanoke City Council and the community want a first-rate fire station and there may be a way to do that and save the building.

“We are asking the city to either extend this building to create more space for modern equipment,” said Ferguson. (Another option) would be to create a new fire station offsite and finding a new exciting use for this one.”

The Grandin fire station has stood for 96 years. Fire and EMS Chief David Hoback says it just does not work in today’s world. He says the planning process for this station has been in the works for eight years and the list of needs at this station is growing.

"We don't have the proper turnout gear confinement areas that they can store. We don’t have training opportunity rooms or proper sleeping quarters," said Hoback.

The building's budget is around $5 million and city council said this decision was not made overnight.

"This is a building that has really outlived its usage from a standpoint of accommodating new fire trucks and the equipment that we need today," said Mayor of Roanoke Sherman P. Lea. 

The station will not only be getting a brand new building but in 2019, it will also have a new fire truck.