Fire demo

On Monday, the old crew quarters at the Strawberry Fire Station were demolished. They are being replaced with new quarters, which should be completed in June.

The Pine-Strawberry Fire District recently celebrated breaking ground on new crew quarters at the Strawberry Fire Station.

At the Jan. 30 board meeting, the fire board awarded a contract to Barry Hoff Contracting after receiving bids ranging from $209,800 to $289,600. Hoff had the low bid. Construction started March 4 with the existing building demolished.

The fire district acquired the old building two decades ago when the district built a large garage to house a fire truck and an ambulance. The living quarters were originally constructed as a weekend hunters’ cabin. It was not built to code and had a flat roof that often leaked and began to rot, which created a real concern about its ability to support a snow load, said Fire Chief Gary Morris. The leaks also created repeated mold infestations and termites were eating away at the floor structure.

“It could best be described as a shack and that may be too polite,” Morris said. “The 730-square-foot building was small and a real squeeze for the shifts two, sometimes three, on duty crew members”

In the 2016 general election, Pine-Strawberry voters approved an increase in fire district taxes to make a number of improvements.

The measure passed with 67 percent approval.

Replacing the Strawberry station living quarters was part of the ballot measure’s proposal as was the replacement of an 18-year-old ambulance. The new ambulance should be delivered in May.

Construction of the 1,335-square-foot crew quarters should be done by the end of June.

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