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Petition to save Fire-EMS Station 7 surges on

ROANOKE,Va. – The push to save Fire-EMS Station 7 is picking up momentum. On Thursday, a petition calling to preserve the 96-year-old building was placed online.

The petition had just around 1,000 signatures and is now close to hitting 5,000 signatures from community members.

Despite the City Council's vote to demolish the current station and create a new facility, one council member believes the building can still serve the neighborhood as is.

“I wanted the architect to study the building to see if there was a possibility to save the old fire station, which I think has not been done adequately in the past and I think we can still save a building and still make it purposeful going forward,” said council member John Garland.

Garland said he does not plan to do anything with the current online petition.

10 News asked how safety in the neighborhood would be affected if the station moved elsewhere.

Fire-EMS Chief David Hoback said there is currently no new location available that would meet the needs of the Grandin area.

"In Raleigh Court, you can imagine, there is some land confinement and there is not a lot of local space,” said Hoback.

“We need it to be right around the Grand Memorial area and that’s what we are doing, building it back on the same spot."

Hoback said the department has explored other locations, such as the park directly across from the current building, in order to preserve Fire Station 7.