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Albany community shares fire station memories before demolition

The Albany Fire Station held an open house at its downtown location. The building will soon be demolished so a safer building can replace it. Photo by Emily Higgins

ALBANY, Ore. - Albany's downtown fire station held an open house Friday before its demolition. One man at the event said he remembers when the station was built 66 years ago.

Tom Anderson was a former captain for the Albany Fire Department. In fact, he started a year before the station was built.

"The fire station was built while I was on duty," Anderson said.

He used to drive the truck.

"The older rigs, if we had to pump a lot of water, we had to use steam pumpers," he said.

Anderson said things were much different in 1950.

"Of course the city wasn't as big as it is now, so you didn't have as much area to cover," he said.

Looking around the old station, Anderson says many of the firefighters helped with painting and tiling.

"We put the place together in some respects," he said.

Fire Chief John Bredner says 66 years ago, it wasn't built with any seismic standards at all.

"So, for potential earthquake issues we need to rehabilitate or rebuild a new station. So we're going down the path of building a new station," Bredner said.

May 22 will be the station's last working shift.

"They'll respond to their last call in the station at Monday morning around 7 o'clock, we'll close the doors, if you will," Bredner said.

He says the new station will add 11,000 square feet. The demolition will happen in mid-June and construction will begin at the end of July.

Meanwhile, the department will operate out of a place on Hill Street.

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