Rowland Heights : Firehouse Reconstruction

Repair of the vacant county fire station at 1525 S. Nogales St. is expected to begin this week under an emergency $197,000 construction contract approved by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

The station, severely damaged in a kitchen fire Nov. 25 while engine and paramedic crews were on runs, should be open again by mid-April, said Stephen Sherrill, assistant county fire chief. The crews are now assigned to two other stations nearby.

At the Fire Department's request, the supervisors awarded a $147,000 emergency construction contract to K-W Western Inc. without competitive bidding. Reconstruction would have taken three months longer if bids had been required, Sherrill said. An additional $42,000 was set aside to cover unanticipated costs, and $8,000 was awarded for Fire Department expenses in preparing the structure for repair.

The blaze, which destroyed nearly one-fourth of the $850,000 station, started when crewmen left a stove on while they were on a fire call and cooking oil ignited, Sherrill said.

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