PHOENIX - It was meant to cut down on response times and it did just that, but a temporary fire station at 19th Avenue and Happy Valley Road isn’t quite cutting it for some residents of the North Phoenix area.
“9 to 9 is only half of a 24 hour period, and as you know emergencies don’t keep hours,” said P.J. Dean with the United Phoenix Firefighters Association.
After hours it goes back to the same problem, longer response times. That’s exactly what happened during a house fire Saturday night.
“The fire was pretty ugly. All the cars are gone, everything in the garage is gone,” said Mario Torres.
Torres ran out of the house with his wife, his son, and wife and their 1-year-old grandson when the fire hit around 10:30 p.m. near the I-17 and Jomax Road.
"It would be nice to have a fire department close to us,” Torres said.
The City of Phoenix had planned to build a station at the intersection back in 2006, but after the economic downturn, the plans were put on hold.
Had the station been there, it would have taken less than 5 minutes to get to the house fire on Saturday.
“It took the first driving engine company 8 minutes 20 seconds to get there,” said Dean.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, the national standard on fire codes, the response time Saturday was twice than what it was supposed to be.
“In our opinion it’s unacceptable. That’s far too long,” said Dean.
There’s money in the city’s budget for a permanent station, according to the city’s five year Capital Improvement Program, and it is set to be built by the end of 2018. There is an additional $342,000 available for 'Fire Protection', according to the 2018-2019 trial budget.
In the meantime, the Phoenix Fire Department says they expect the temporary fire station to be full-time soon, they’re just waiting on funding from the city.