Fresno Fire Station 18 to be moved into firehouse after 13 years

Firefighters at Station 18 in northwest Fresno are about to move out of the neighborhood.

The house on La Ventana Avenue is like any other home.

A kitchen for cooking, a room to watch a show, and even a jacuzzi. But odds are a fire truck has never rolled out of your neighbor's driveway.

"I noticed the red light down the street and I said that's gotta be a fire station, but it looked just like the homes around here," says Roger Uribe, a neighbor.

Fire Station 18 was temporarily built in this neighborhood to bring fast response to developments without fire sprinklers. And now after nearly 13 years, the City has approved money for the station to move into a traditional firehouse just over a mile away.

"That mile and a half makes a tremendous amount of response time differences to all of the constructions that are happening to the south of it," says Fresno Fire Deputy Chief Ted Semonious.

Chief Semonious says the repositioning won't endanger the homes it's now moving away from and is cost-effective.

On Thursday, the Fresno City Council unanimously approved the constructor for the project and where the rest of the funding will come from, but not without the councilmembers voicing their thoughts.

"What are we doing to make sure that this fire station doesn't go over budget?" said Council Vice-President Miguel Arias.

Councilmember Mike Karbassi replied, "I don't like that comment very much because I don't think they are asking for luxury, they are asking for safety."

According to the City, groundbreaking for the station will take place in the new year.
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