By Floyd Ingram
HOUSTON – The steel has been put in place and the walls are up for the new fire station downtown.
Workers from MasterCraft Construction of Booneville have been busy bolting steel to a concrete foundation and then putting a metal roof and walls on the 50-by-52 structure. The three-bay metal building will keep county firefighting equipment out of the elements.
“Fire trucks have pumps and water, and if they get hit with freezing weather it can spring gaskets,” said Ricko Nichols, Houston Street Department superintendent. “Sunlight is not good for the hoses and these trucks last a lot longer when they are kept inside.”
The city is funding the construction and Chickasaw County handled the dirtwork with county equipment this summer to prep the site.
“Right now we’ve got three trucks that we can’t put under a roof,” said Houston Fire Department Capt. Jonathan Blankenship. “We’ve got a brush truck and tanker that are out in the weather. We’ve also got a pumper that the county owns and it responds to county fires. When they all get in here, it is sort of crowded.”
Blankenship said 60 percent of the department’s calls are medical related and responding with smaller trucks is more economical and leaves the tankers and pumper ready to respond to true fire calls.