Rebuilt Fire House Ready for London Games

The $11.9 million Walthamstow Fire Station replaced a 1920s-era station. It houses an additional fire engine and 20 more firefighters than the old building did.

The London Fire Brigade opened a fully renovated fire station in East London on Feb. 23, saying the $11.9 million project was undertaken with an eye toward the 2012 Olympics beginning July 27 and the Paralympic Games to follow.

Brian Coleman, chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, said the rebuilt station "provides Londoners with an excellent new facility, and the £7.5 million we have invested in this state-of-the art building demonstrates our continuing commitment to maintaining the world-class fire and rescue service the capital has come to expect."

Three bays are big enough for the largest fire appliances the brigade currently uses and outfitted with community facilities for teaching the public about fire safety. The station will use less water and energy than its predecessor and will cost less to operate.

This opening completes a series of fire engine upgrades to which the authority, which operates the brigade, agreed in 2005 to improve overall response times. As a result, fire calls that involve a second fire engine's response are faster than before.

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