PAHOKEE, Fla. - For nearly 50 years, Pahokee firefighters have worked out of one fire station meaning there is a lot of history there that will soon be gone.
It's not up to code and Palm Beach County has now approved to build a new fire station, but many will hold on tight to old memories.
They're the first to come to your home when there is an emergency and since the 1960's this has been their home.
"It was a Pahokee auto parts store," District 7 Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Chief Gary Burroughs said.
Now that it's a fire station and since trucks have grown, the old auto parts dimensions don't work out.
"The outer doors are both twelve feet wide, the center door is only 10 feet and you can only get one of the smaller trucks in there," Burroughs said.
When you watch each truck try to get in, it's a tight squeeze for the truck and sometimes it's too tight.
"You can see where it's taken a lick or two," Burroughs said while pointing out the spots where trucks have ran into the wall.
The flagpole has taken a lick too, it got hit by a brush truck.
"As you can see we don't use it anymore," Burroughs said.
Beyond that, one wall use to have windows, which are now sealed up because they leaked rain.
Their kitchen isn't big enough to handle the larger crew or the kitchen equipment that's needed either for the firefighters, Burroughs said.
"If you have an old building you have to do new stuff to make it work," Burroughs added.
The new location will go in a grassy lot near South Lake Avenue, in a spot much bigger than the old location and the cost $2.8 million. A good amount of that money will create local jobs and will be funded by local vendors, Burroughs said.
"It's always nice to see something new," Burroughs added.
But tough to lose the memories.
"We had to shine this pole," he said. "I remember having to shine it at the end of every shift."
Or stories like why the bathroom doors open differently. The chief says it is because was so this little guy could a firefighter too.
"The guys liked him and he liked the guys and in fact, I posted some pictures where we was rolling around in his wheel chair and he had on fire gloves that were as big as he was," the chief said. "And where he was helping us put the hose away."
Now he fears the home of those memories will look abandoned, like the neighboring city hall, his old high school and even the old town movie theater.
"This building," he said while crying. "I had birthday parties here for my kids. I've gathered up with people in this room that we've lost on duty and you know for me, yes, it's hard for me to move on, but that's life."
The building is expected to be completed in 395 days, according to county officials.
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