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New fire engine too heavy for historic Albany Fire Station Number One

Posted: Updated: Jul 14, 2014 02:21 PM
ALBANY, N.Y. - A brand new fire engine is too heavy for the historic firehouse floor that was supposed to be its new home. 

Fire Station Number One in Albany was built 122 years ago. Since it is one of the busiest stations, its crew was supposed to get a brand new 750 gallon truck to replace a 500 gallon tank that the crew had been using.

Architects in 1892 designed the station to house a steamer fire truck and horses to carry it, much lighter than modern fire trucks. However, engineers discovered the historic building couldn’t safely handle the weight of the new tank after it had already been purchased.  

"Yeah, it was a bit of a surprise, but that’s why we checked before the truck got here to make sure everything was ok,” explained Deputy Fire Chief Frank Nerney.

Not only was the new truck over the safe weight limit for the floors, but the truck that the station had used for the past nine years was also too heavy by five-percent. 

The current floor has no significant damage, but both trucks have since been taken out so they do not risk the floor caving in.

“There is a basement under here with some structural steel and concrete that holds the floor up, but there is a basement,” said Nerney.

While the problem is going to be fixed, the station will be using a lighter reserve vehicle, leaving the brand new truck temporarily in the hands of Fire Station Number 10. However, the Albany Fire Chief explained that the reserve vehicle is completely safe in the building and perfectly capable of performing all of the duties of the old engine.

“We’re going to get the floor looked at and we’re going to get an engineer in to tell us what we need to do and we'll make the repairs,” said Albany Fire Department Chief Warren Abriel. 

Abriel said it will take about $70,000 to reinforce the floor and that it might be until next year before they can find that amount of money in their budget. They will be discussing the issue at a meeting with Albany’s Common Council on Thursday. 

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