Phoenix Fire to open new temporary fire station inside north Phoenix hotel

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A brand new fire station is coming to one north Phoenix neighborhood.

It's been years in the making, but it won't look like any firehouse you've ever seen before. At least not yet.

"Fire Station 55" will operate out of a hotel room at the Marriott Residence Inn near 19th Avenue and Happy Valley Road.

Its new engine was just given its official number Wednesday afternoon.

“It's unique, but I’m excited that we have something up here,” said Norterra resident and community advocate Julie Read.

The City of Phoenix bought land at I-17 and Jomax in 2006 for a permanent fire station to serve the Norterra neighborhood. But after the economy crashed in 2008, it could not afford to build one.

With the next closest fire station miles away, neighbors recently renewed the push to build.

The project is now approved, but construction will take about two years.

Neighbors and the fire department agree the area needs service sooner than that.

"At the Phoenix Fire Department, our motto is ‘Adapt and Overcome,’" said Capt. Rob McDade of Phoenix Fire Department. “So if that means running out of a hotel, that's what we're going to do."

On Monday, a crew of four firefighters will start taking calls seven days a week for the next eight months out of a two-bedroom extended stay hotel room.

The firefighters will all be on overtime, borrowed from various other stations. Once the new permanent station is built, new full-time hires will come with it. 

"I think it's a point of pride, I think that our members are excited to start delivering quick immediate fire service delivery to everybody that lives there,” said McDade.

The area is currently seeing response times as high as 11 minutes. Their goal is to reduce that to just three minutes.

"I think it puts everyone at ease a little bit knowing that there's another truck that's coming and that response time will be quicker,” said Read.

Fire station 55 will only run between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., so sirens and radio sounds won't affect sleeping guests. After peak hours, other fire stations will pick up any calls.

Construction on the permanent fire station will start in the summer.

They'll first put up a temporary building on the property so crews can move out of the hotel and stay there for another year and a half until the permanent building is finished.

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Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

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