109 Year Old Fire House Continues To Serve, Save & Protect
By A.F. James MacArthur Ph.A.L.
After being shut down for nearly one year, Fire Station 31, on Greenmount Ave. officially went back into service today.
“This community needs this fire station” – Fire Chief James Clack
Located in the heart of Waverly, a community struggling for revitalization and recognition for things besides gun violence, open air drug dealing and urban blight and decay. The station houses Engine Co. 31 and Medic 3.
Due to unsafe building conditions, the station was closed last June. In an effort spearheaded by Councilwoman Mary-Pat Clarke with overwhelming community involvement, a grassroots movement raised up to save Fire Station 31. The station was once marked for permanent closure.
After being rejected for stimulus money, through bake sales, fund raising house parties, among other things and Dept. of General services bond funding, the needed half million dollars for necessary repairs was procured. Local business owners consider the fire station a vital part of the new direction of Waverly.
“This is the kind of partnership and community involvement we need to see more of” remarked Khalil Zaied, Director of the Dept. Of General Services. In a time of rotating fire station closures, and the potential layoff of hundreds of firefighters due to fiscal failures, the sentiment couldn’t be more poignant.
Back in service for less than 24 hours, the station responded to a house fire around 4:30 a.m. Saturday.
After a marching band played and various officials and community leaders gave brief remarks to the assembled crowd of nearly 200 people, an official ribbon cutting was lead out by Councilwoman Clarke. The community was then invited to tour the historic, 109 year old fire house, which dates back to the era of horse drawn fire wagons. A barbecue cook-out reception was held in the back.
One of the oldest professional fire department in the nation, the Baltimore City Fire Department has been in service for 151 years.
Excellent video report by Fox 45, watch till the end to see a few seconds of some creepy, big, tall, long hair guy off in the distance.