Firefighter works to restore abandoned station - abc27 WHTM

Firefighter works to restore abandoned station

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A Harrisburg firefighter is renovating a former fire station in Allison Hill with the goal of turning it into a community center.

Dressed from head-to-toe in white protective suits, workers sprayed yellow foam insulation onto the 106-year-old bricks. The second floor of the former hook-and-ladder station was a dust-covered construction site of progress.

Construction on the fire station at the intersection of 14th and Kittatinny streets began in 1907 and was completed in 1909 a full working fire station. In 1980, the station was shut down by the city and firefighter Jason Lloyd bought it in 2010.

Lloyd said his initial goal was to preserve the history and eventually live in the fire hall. However, after the community became curious and more involved, that dream has shifted to the neighborhood and he plans to turn the building into a community center.

One look around, it is a standing museum. From the aged tin ceilings to the post-war surplus green paint, this former home of the brave excites Lloyd.

"Just something in my blood," he said. "I have family ties that go back to the late 1800's. There's too much history to let it sit here and rot away."

The renovation process has allowed Lloyd to peel back the decades of history. The station had handmade water pipes that are still covered in the horse hair that was used for insulation. Inside a glass case were several old bingo cards and a dusty program cover with an old abc27 logo with an advertisement for the TV show M*A*S*H.

Because Lloyd said he is using money from his own pocket, completion of the project hinges on incoming funds. He said many city firefighters have volunteered their time and skills to help move the project along. For now, he is enjoying the project, albeit a stressful one.

"It's nice to be able to give back to the community and to save the building at the same time," Lloyd said. "It's a win-win for everybody."


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