2015-05-13 / Front Page

GFD Station 16 up and running

Ledger Staff Writer

It’s got a kitchen, three bedrooms and enough bathroom space for a large family.

But the feature that stood out at this home-awayfrom home was a very big, two-vehicle garage.

And now the move-in is complete.

After several months of renovations and site work, the City of Gaffney’s Thompson Street Fire Station officially opened for business last week, putting fire department personnel and apparatus within quick reach of the southern portion of the Gaffney Fire District.

Fire Chief Jamie Caggiano said there’s still a little cosmetic work to do at the new station, but everything that’s important for firefighting and emergency response is ready to go.

The new station, which is the city’s fourth, houses one fire truck and the city’s hazardous materials (HAZMAT) response truck. The HAZMAT truck is being made available to any fire department in Cherokee County that needs help with a situation involving hazardous materials.

It’s anticipated that the new Station 16 will be among the fire district’s busiest because of a high residential population combined with numerous businesses. While all city fire stations respond to structure fires or other major calls wherever they occur in the fire district, a station’s focus on a 1.5- mile radius for all other calls means Station 16 will be the primary station covering much of the city’s historic district, Limestone College, the Hetty Hill Street neighborhood as well as parts of Union Highway and Pacolet Highway.

“Our plan is to have an open house some time in mid to late June to invite the community in,” Caggiano said of the new station. Details will be announced soon.

In addition to putting personnel in the southern portion of the district, plans also call for the installation of a tornado siren at the station to warn residents of tornadoes or other severe weather events. For residents worried about noise, the tornado sirens are only tested once a month and generally only go off when it’s time to take notice and take cover.

While folks generally don’t want the fire department coming to their home, there will be a reason for folks to go to the new fire station. Cherokee County, which is ending curbside recycling, is placing recycling containers at Station 16 for area residents, Caggiano said.

Station 16 is located on the site of the former Peeler Dairy.

The city signed a 25- year lease on the site for just $5 a year with an option to renew. The city appropriated about $200,000 last year for work at the site.

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