New firehall construction gets going

Published on Thu, Sep 26, 2002 by Jack Kintner

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New firehall construction gets going

By Jack Kintner

Representatives from Blaine’s police, fire and administrative departments broke ground last week for the $1.14 million fire station voters approved last November. The facility will be built on a two-acre site in the 1500 block of Odell Road, and is expected to be finished by next March.

It’s Blaine’s first new fire station since the Semiahmoo fire hall was built in the 1980s, perhaps the last new fire station in the U.S. to be equipped with a brass fire pole. The new station is all on one floor, and will have four bunk rooms, a laundry, a meeting area/classroom for 30 people and space for two fire engines, an aid unit and a command car. A 1940s-era fire truck will be displayed in a glassed-in area marked for future expansion, according to North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Services (NWFRS) chief Mike Campbell.

The building site was once part of a 20-acre farm that Icelandic pioneer Albert Laxdahl built in 1915, and later sold to Emily and Robert Walsh in 1958. “Odell Road ended in our driveway,” said Emily Walsh, “before it was pushed through to Sweet Road. Cain Creek still flowed by to the north, and Laxdahl planted most of the fruit trees in the back.”

District 13 firefighters removed the farm house with a practice burn last June. Though regulations concerning construction run-off require the entire site to be excavated, Campbell hopes to find a way to save Laxdahl’s fruit trees, planted over 85 years ago, “perhaps with the help of the high school horticulture class,” Campbell said. .
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