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Contingency Plan In Place As AFD Station 4 Remains Closed

Abilene Fire Department's Station 4 remains closed after the severe hail. For now, primarily Stations 1,5, and 7 will be picking up the slack.
Last week's severe hail and rain damaged cars and buildings all across town, including Abilene Fire Department Station 4. The station is located on the north side of Abilene at 1909 W Stamford.

"My only concern is that our next fire station is a ways away," explains Toi Sanders, who lives near the station.

The Deputy Chief of AFD says that the time of the storm has made it interesting for the department since they planned on replacing a leaky roof soon.

"The timing of the storm, there's never a good time for a storm, but it really has impacted some of the decisions that are being made," says AFD Deputy Chief Larry Bell.

The department was going through a bidding process to get a new roof for the sixty year old station, but now, with much more extensive damage than just  a roof, they are re-evaluating.

"We are trying to make sure that the city as a whole, including this part of the city is well protected, well covered, have good response times and that's what we are aiming for , so the decisions that are being made are using that as a basis," says Bell.

Chief Bell says that getting a crew back in this area is at the top of the list, but for now, other stations will be helping out- which worked out today when a fire broke out at Texas Metals and Recycling company in north Abilene.

According to the owner of the company, Wayne Lanham, "A spark caused the seat to catch on fire is what it looked like."

The fire occurred just blocks from the now-closed station 4, but a fire engine from downtown was called instead. Lanham says he is still pleased by their response time.

"To us, I don't think we noticed any difference. They were here quickly, actually they were here before I thought they would be here, surprised. They did a great job. They helped us get it out and stopped what could have been a potentially bad situation."

While it may be a little unnerving that their neighborhood station is out of service, Lanham explanis, "From deep in your gut, the closer they are, they better you feel"

However, after seeing how they responded today, their contingency plan gets two thumbs up from area folks.

At this time, Chief Bell says that the response times for that area of town near station four will be delayed of course, but that stations one, five, and seven will primarily taking up the slack until they can determine the best steps to take as far as repairs go.

To see a map of where the AFD Stations are located, click here.

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