In February, more than 65 years after its construction, the Larose Fire Dept. building was demolished to make way for a new state-of-the-art 3,500 sq. ft. fire station which will house Lafourche Parish Fire District 3 (LPFD3) personnel 24/7.
The two-story building, established in 1948 at 12595 E. Main St. in Larose, alongside East 6th Street, housed one fire engine and the equipment needed for the volunteers to fight fires in the Larose area.
“It was hard seeing something that has been a local landmark for so many years being destroyed, but it has become inadequate compared to modern standards. The only fire truck that fit in the old building is one from 1982. The height of the building was about six feet too short for newer fire trucks,” said LPFD3 Asst. Fire Chief Kully Griffin.
While the new firehouse was expected to open in late October or early November, the new station should be open by the beginning of next year, according to those involved with the project.
The metal frame has gone up for the new building, and Fire Chief Freddy Guidry said the siding should be added soon.
"At the beginning, we were looking for the fall (to open the station), but as there's been a few delays here and there, we're looking at the beginning of the year," Guidry said. "We had a few change orders. This is considered a public building, and certain things are required.”
Because of the changes, Guidry expects the station to cost a little over $1 million, paid for with tax dollars. Previous estimates put the cost at just under $1 million.
Fire District 3, Lafourche's only paid fire department, was established in 1959 and took over all fire departments in the district's boundaries. Its coverage area runs from 2 miles north of the Intracoastal Waterway to just before Grand Isle and also includes the Lafourche section of the Bourg-Larose Highway.
Employees work in three shifts, living at the fire stations for 24 hours at a time.
“There are so many different situations that our firefighters are involved in and trained for; it’s much more than just putting out fires. Last year we took 770 calls. That averages to two emergency calls each day,” said Guidry.
The new 3,500-square-foot station will house four firefighters at a time and include living quarters and two trucks. It will have a housing unit for the four on-duty firemen and a large garage that will house a ladder truck and a pump truck as well as equipment needed for any given situation.
Ben Thompson, project manager for Thomassie Construction, said he expects the building to be complete by the end of the year.
Each year the LPFD3 holds an open house in the fall so people can view their equipment, meet personnel and learn about fire prevention. In the last few years, anywhere from 600 – 1200 people have attended the open houses.
“We’re here to keep residents in our district safe. We hold a strong sense of community and willingness to help, plus running into a burning building and saving lives is a feeling like no other,” said Guidry.
For more information about the Lafourche Parish Fire District 3 and the programs they offer, visit www.lpfd3.com or call Fire Central at 985-632-8068.
Posted on Fri, August 19, 2016
by The Lafourche Gazette