Chief calls for 4th station in wake of recent blaze

Friday, August 11, 2006 The fire 'did get a considerable head start' on firefighters, the chief said. By PETER H. MILLIKEN VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER WARREN — Fire Chief Ken Nussle says a fire station in the southeast quadrant of the city could have generated a faster response to this week's Candlelight Apartments blaze. "We've always felt, to provide adequate protection, that a fourth fire station was needed" on the southeast side, perhaps in the vicinity of Ridge Avenue and Youngstown Road, Nussle said. A two-alarm fire Wednesday destroyed a three-story, 12-unit brick building at 1108 Harvard Drive S.E., in the Candlelight Apartments complex. The blaze, which originated in a third-floor apartment bedroom, was reported shortly before 2 p.m. Maintenance workers alerted the occupants and escorted them out uninjured. First at the blaze was a fire engine that left the Atlantic Street Northeast fire station — the closest station to the fire — at 1:54 p.m. It arrived on the scene at 1:59 p.m. It was followed by other trucks from the central station downtown and Parkman Road Northwest station, according to the fire department log. "The fire did get a considerable head start on us," Nussle said, adding that it had likely been burning unnoticed for some time. Outside advice The fire chief said the five-minute initial response time is within National Fire Protection Association standards. But Nussle pointed to two performance audits of the city fire department, one by the state auditor, the other by a private firm, calling for the city to have a fourth fire station in the city's southeast quadrant. With 16 firefighters already on the scene, the second alarm at 2:21 p.m. brought out nine more firefighters from home to staff a rescue truck from the central station, on South Street Southwest, and a reserve engine from the Parkman Road station.

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