A major upgrade is completed as a Dallas Fire-Rescue station officially opened near Fair Park Tuesday.
After more than 55 years in operation at the corner of Frank and Lagow streets, Fire Station No. 44 has a new home at Carl and Lagow streets.
For those that attended the grand opening on Tuesday morning, the building is more than just a new fire station.
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The 13,000-square foot facility is large enough to fit the old station, which opened in 1959, or four pieces of equipment inside the apparatus bay. The $3.8 million facility will also house 12 firefighters. It also features bi-fold bay doors, which allow them to open much faster than over-head rolling doors.
This will be the last new station to open under outgoing-Chief Louie Bright. Bright and city councilwoman Tiffany Young took part in the ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday.
Bright also acknowledged firefighter Jeff Patterson, who was working at Station 44 when he was critically injured in 2014 while battling a house fire in the neighborhood. Bright said he told Patterson during his recovery he would be standing alongside him when they opened the new facility.
Bright also surprised Patterson with a plaque depicting a new award that will be given to firefighters injured in the line of duty.
Many members of the community also attended the grand opening, as the facility could have a major impact in improvements to the neighborhoods surrounding Fair Park and in South Dallas.
"This is a milestone," Mill City Community Association president Alendra Lyons said. "I remember as a kid walking to school to Dunbar [Elementary School], there was the fire station. Now as I look at this one compared to that one, what a magnificent improvement."
Lyons said in the coming months there are efforts to improve the buildings directly across from Fair Park, as the fire station is just part of the community's revival.