Firefighter sticks to his roots, repurposes old fire station

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – One man and his family is bringing a piece of Abilene’s history back to life, repurposing the Old Fire Station #1 into an event venue.

“It was their old central station, their old 911 dispatch, there’s a lot of guys that are still in Abilene that started their careers here,” said Doug Hickson who is repurposing the property.

It was the station that started it all, not just for the orginal guys, but for Doug Hickson himself,

“When I was in the fire academy we used this building for search and rescue,” said Hickson. “We had to crawl up on our knees up through the upstairs and searching on your hands and knees on this concrete.”

Now he’s taking the memories of the past and creating a new future for hundreds more in the Key City.

“We planned on having this open to the public to enjoy it as much as we do,” said Hickson.

Once it’s open, this new venue will be added to a whole list of similar businesses in Abilene.

“We have a variety to chose from now where as five years ago we may have had three or four,” said SoDA District Courtyard owner Tim Smith.

This however does pose a question, ‘How many venues is too many?’

“I’ve had people say this to me, ‘Oh well Abilene has too many venues’ well, I don’t think so,” said Smith. “When a venue’s booked you’re booked.”

Smith adding that the business has changed a lot over the last couple of years and spaces like these are becoming more and more in demand.

“We’re now booking people that don’t event live in Abilene,” said Smith.

Hickson says the Old Fire Station #1 will reopen to the public mid-November.

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