Plans are under way to repair an Augusta fire station closed last month after its entrance was damaged by a fire truck.
Fire Chief Chris James said this week, though, that it’s uncertain when Station 9 on Walton Way Extension will return to full use.
“I don’t have a realistic time frame for when the station will be opened,” James said. “There are too many factors involved to give (an estimate).”
Firefighters at Station 9 were moved to neighboring stations after part of a fire engine hit the center column between the garage doors June 25 and part of the front of the building collapsed.
Neighboring stations extended their coverage areas to make up for the loss of firefighters on Walton Way Extension.
James said that so far there has not been much difference in response times for calls in the Station 9 coverage area.
A preliminary report revealed that the column was not reinforced. It’s difficult to determine why, officials say, because the building has undergone frequent modifications over the years.
James said the structure was built to serve another purpose before the fire department moved into it in the late 1970s. Since then, the building has been added on to several times.
Plans to bring the building up to code are being completed. James expects the plans to be sent out for bids this week. The fire department hopesl the process will be done as quickly as possible to get firefighters back into Station 9.
“We don’t want that one accident to happen that is right in Station 9’s territory (that could have been saved),” James said.