Exploring a Vacant Fire Station
This vacant fire station was known as Fire Station number 3 and was built in 1967, it closed in 2018. The vacant fire hall was replaced by a newer station
The Fire Department that used this building served a municipality of 193,832 people over an area of 138.88 square kilometres. Organized firefighting in this town started in 1854 with the purchase of a hand-powered fire apparatus and the establishment of the Cataract Fire Engine Company No. 1 in 1858. A second company, the Phoenix Fire Company No. 2, was formed in 1871.
In 1909, the Fire Department was formed with four companies – No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 Hose Companies, along with a Hook and Ladder Company. The town had a population of 2100 at this time. A fourth hose company was in place by 1913. Motorization started in 1919 with the purchase of a war surplus 1918 Ford Model T. Call boxes were added in 1924 and the town’s first pumper, a Bickle, was purchased in 1928. The hose companies were divided into four separate sections afterward. The companies were reinstated in 1948, this time five in number – two pumper companies (No. 2 and No. 5) and ladder truck, a hose truck and second hose truck.
This specific building was known as Fire Station number 3 and was built in 1967, it closed in 2018 when a brand new state of the art facility was built up the street….which brings me to how I got here!
I had read a news article about the closure of this fire station and was interested to see if maybe I could photograph it and document it before it is demolished. It was a warm summer morning and I headed up the highway to the location where I found a flurry of activity outside with city workers trimming trees and doing other city work. There was still a Canadian flag flying on the pole and a look inside the windows I saw the power was still on.
There we no vehicles parked on site, I approached and looked in the windows to see of anyone was inside, I grabbed a business card in hopes that there is someone inside who I could introduce myself to and see about getting the O.K. to come in. I approach a back door and much to my surprise, it was open and unlocked, so I made my way inside and called out to whomever was inside.
No one answered
I continue walking carefully so as not to startle this person inside whenever I may locate him or her, I continue to call out and no one answers.
Well, I mean I’m already inside and the door WAS open right? So I take out my gear and I start shooting and exploring the different rooms and floors. There was the kitchen, the sleeping quarters, the officers quarters, a dispatch room, a rappelling tower for training, a gym, a recreation room…but no pole!!
I only found two uniforms, full firefighting gear with boots and there was a mask as well as some oxygen tanks. In the officers quarters there were cleaned and pressed white shirts with the patches for the department on the shoulders.
Another strange thing was the radio, there was a dispatch radio there still on and still dispatching locations and emergencies. Every time it went off it scared the hell out of me!
So, for now my time was through and I had seen all I came to see, except for that person who I was going to ask for permission.
Fast Forward another day later and I would return with RiddimRyder and Carlo Paolozza, again hoping to get permission and again there was no one home to ask…but the door was still unlocked.
We quickly photographed and filmed and of course I had to put on the fire fighting suit, which was heavy as shit!
So, here is my gallery from the now closed and vacant fire station #3 and to those who are in charge at the station, I was looking for you and was hoping to get permission….so I hope you don’t mind that we helped ourselves and took some photos!
Stay safe and thanks for all you do as first responders!