Old Cedar Rapids central fire station torn down - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Old Cedar Rapids central fire station torn down

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

It's been more than five years since the Cedar Rapids Central Fire Station was heavily damaged by flood waters.

Tuesday, crews marked the end of an era- tearing down the building that's served the city since 1985.

It's a scene that triggered memories for firefighter Nick Miller.

"It's sad.  I wanted to document it in my mind," he said.

This is where Miller's career as a firefighter began.

Miller spent just two years under the roof of the city's central station before it took on ten feet of water in 2008's flood.

"Getting hired and getting brought in to the family of firefighting, getting accepted and working with the guys every third day, it becomes your second family," Miller said.

Tuesday, Miller was among the group of current and retired firefighters getting one last look as the building was reduced to rubble, but with the demolition comes the prospects of a new beginning.

"While one chapter closes, another one opens," said Greg Buelow, spokesperson with the Cedar Rapids fire department.

In just three weeks construction will wrap up on the city's new central fire station, which is set to open in the fall.

"As bad as the flood was, as surreal as this scene is seeing your old central fire station demolished, we realize that we're in a better spot," Buelow said.

The new 67,000 square foot, $20 million facility will be equipped with better efficiencies and technology.

Most importantly, it will help the fire department respond quicker to emergencies.

"Over 12 percent of the city will be within a mile and a half of a fire station that wasn't at the time of the flood," Buelow said. 

Reason to believe the new building will better serve the area for many more years to come.

"To be able to work in two different central fire stations, not too many generations of firefighters are going to do that. They're not built very often," Miller said.

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