Cramped quarters

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SNOQUALMIE - When Department of Public Safety-Fire Division Deputy Chief Bob Rowe gives a tour of Snoqualmie's River Street fire station, one can tell he is happy he may not have to call it home for very long.

On Sept. 17, the city will ask residents to approve a $3.6 million levy to build a new fire station at a 6-acre municipal campus along Snoqualmie Parkway - not a day too soon for the men and women of the Fire Division.

"It would be nice to have good amenities to do the work we are required to do," Rowe said.

The building's history goes back to 1958, when it was built by the city's volunteer fire department. Snoqualmie eventually moved its city campus into the building, renovating the inside and adding on new structures that housed a library, police station and administrative office. When the building was given back to the fire department, it was returned to a fire station.

Rowe said he appreciates the history and understands the emotional attachment to the fire station, but it is way behind the times in terms of offering the latest - and required - features of a modern fire department.

Washington codes require diesel exhaust removal systems, automatic sprinkler systems and seismic engineering to prevent collapse in an earthquake, none of which are met at the present station.

The tour of the station starts in Rowe's office, a small windowless room right in the path of the aid car's exhaust fumes. Since there is little to no ventilation in his office, he's forced to do his work elsewhere when the aid car goes out on a call.

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this weeks Valley Record

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