By Beth O’Brien, reporting for Bluebonnet News of Montgomery County
A grand opening of the ninth fire station for the Spring Fire Department, Station 74, located off Aldine-Westfield Road, was held on Saturday.
Spring Fire Chief Scott Seifert said construction on the new station started about a year ago at a cost of $7.9 million. Spring FD has another fire station that is a mirror image to Station 74, on the other side of the fire department’s territory, and it ran at about the same cost.
“They’ve been running out of the station for a while now, but we wanted to let it cool down a little bit before we had a big gathering just because that Texas heat will get you every time,” Seifert said. “The community has just always been supportive and this is probably our largest group we’ve had in quite a while. We opened the other station back in November of last year. Although it was a huge gathering, this one seems to been even better.”
W.W. Cotton Weaver, one of the first chiefs for the Spring Fire Department, was on hand for the grand opening. Weaver, 87, worked for the fire department when it opened back in 1953.
“We had three little old fire trucks, we built a couple of them by ourselves, and the budget was mostly out of our own pockets,” Weaver said. “The water you had was the water that you took. We had no fire plugs. You went in the house with the clothes that you had on, and that was it.”
Weaver said it is very exciting to see a brand new fire station open.
“Our budget was $800 a year, so it has come a long, long way,” Weaver said. “I was a chief for 25 years, I’ve been in this department 67 years, so it has really grown and I’ve enjoyed every minute.”
U-S Congressman Dan Crenshaw, who represents the residents where Station 74 is located, was the guest speaker at the grand opening.
“Our first responders deserve our respect, they run to the sound of gunfire, they run into the burning building and their families wait at home while they do so,” Crenshaw told the crowd. “It’s hard on the families, it’s hard on those first responders, and you can’t understand how much it means to them when this many show up to support them and to support the hard work they do.”
Crenshaw said the new fire station couldn’t have been built without true vision from local officials either.
“Something like this doesn’t just happen, it’s the result of a tremendous community and the community leaders who acknowledge that there’s a real need, and they put a plan into action,” he said.
Lots of young kids attended the grand opening.
Chase Abron is a Boy Scout with Pack 355 in Spring, and as part of one of his requirements, he had to interview an law enforcement official, and he did that at the grand opening.
“This is an actual fire station, and I did not know it looked this cool,” Abron said.
Britany Marsan, who is a first grade teacher at Hirsch Elementary in Spring, would drive by every morning with her son and see Fire Station 74 as it was being built.
“We actually were just waiting and hoping that there would be an opening celebration, and so that’s why we were,” Marsan said.” “We’ve really watched it being built every single morning, so we’re really excited to be here.”