By John McDevitt
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Snorkel 2, Battalion 4, and Medic 44B are back home. The firehouse at 4th and Arch Streets in Old City has reopened after going through major renovations for extensive fire damage sustained in a fire last September.
The renovations and upgrades cost approximately $475,000. There are new windows, new floors, doors, air conditioning, and an upgraded exhaust system that allows the exhaust pipes of the vehicles of be hooked to hoses and vented outside.
“Diesel emissions can cause cancer for the members,” notes Philadelphia fire commissioner Derrick Sawyer (below left), “and when the trucks go in and out, when we didn’t have the exhaust systems, this whole ceiling would be covered with soot — the ceiling and the walls.”
Sawyer says upgraded systems have been incorporated into all of the citys firehouses during the past five years.
Officials say the Old City neighborhood was always protected during the months the firehouse was closed, with response times from nearby stations meeting the national stanard of five minutes or less.