Robert Cozzetto, Lindenhurst Firefighter and Fire Council Building Chairman, speaks...

Robert Cozzetto, Lindenhurst Firefighter and Fire Council Building Chairman, speaks with the Lindenhurst Fire Department Chiefs about the new firehouse plans at the ground breaking of the building. (Jan. 24, 2014) Credit: Steve Pfost

Lindenhurst Village on Friday held a groundbreaking ceremony for the village's new main firehouse.

The event, attended by village officials as well as State Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore), was years in the making. Built in 1923, the village's main firehouse, located on South Wellwood Avenue, suffered damage from a fire in 1978. In recent years, vehicles had to be customized to fit in the building, which was demolished last year.

"The original building was made for Model T Fords," said department Chief Michael McCloud. "This is going to take us into the 22nd century."

The new firehouse, at the same location, will be nearly twice the size of the original structure's 7,920 square feet. It will house fire engines, along with heavy rescue and EMS vehicles, department administration offices and the village's office of emergency management.

Currently, most of the Wellwood operations, including ambulances, are at a station about a mile away.

The village proposed building a new firehouse at a different location in 2008 with a $7.5 million bond but the proposal was rejected by voters and officials abandoned the idea. The public vote was not required by village law.

Two years ago the village obtained two engineering reports that were at odds over whether the original structure could be saved and rebuilt. A third report revealed that steel girders supporting the building had almost completely eroded.

The village authorized bonding for $5.9 million for a new building. The village did not put the bonding to a public vote this time, but fire department and civic associations took part in the planning.

Mayor Thomas Brennan said the new firehouse should be ready by early 2015.

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