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After 15 Years, West Fresno Will Get Permanent Fire Station



Photo of Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria speaking
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Firefighter specialist David Woodard Jr. looks forward to a new roomier fire station.
That’s because the Fresno Fire Department has operated out of a house since 2005 at Ventana and Celeste avenues west of Highway 99.

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“I’m very excited for this move to happen. It’s long overdue,” Woodard said. “We’re kind of confined (at the current location). We will have more room to spread out. We will have better access to the streets so we can serve our community better.”
The ceremonial groundbreaking for the $7 million fire station was Monday morning on a two-acre plot on Shaw Avenue east of Grantland Avenue.

Move Long Overdue

“This is going to meet the needs for response times, improvement in this area as it continues to grow. We are excited about that.”Fire Chief Kerri Donis
The new fire station will be located about 1.5 miles south from the temporary location. District 1 Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria said the residents have waited long enough.
“Our west of Highway 99 area has experienced tremendous growth over the last 20 years,” Soria said. “I also want to thank residents for their patience, because I know that many of them wanted to see this a long time ago.”
Reflective of that growth, a new Central Unified high school campus is underway nearby at Grantland and Ashlan avenues.
“This is going to meet the needs for response times, improvement in this area as it continues to grow. We are excited about that,” Fire Chief Kerri Donis said.

Development of a Permanent Station

City officials expect the new facility will open in early 2021.
Half of the construction costs are from the city’s general fund. The other half is from interdepartmental loans that will be repaid through impact fees on homes, apartments, commercial, and industrial developments.
The city bought what was once a vacant lot in two transactions. The first purchase took place about 15 years ago, city fire officials recalled. When the initial plan for a two-story firehouse did not pan out, it was more economical to purchase the adjoining lot. The city did so in 2015.
Donis said the new station will be “value engineered” and built with blocks and a stick frame. Other stations, Donis said, are built for around $10 million.

Plans for the New Station

Donis said the new station will have three bays and six bedrooms and could potentially be expanded. Initially, the station will house two fire apparatuses, with more to come.
“This plans for that future growth. In the meantime, those bays can be used for storage of our reserve apparatus,” Donis said.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email