One of the four fire stations that protect the greater Ballard area, Fire Station 9 in Fremont held an open house on Saturday to mark its official reopening. The modern, environmentally-friendly facility was rebuilt from the group up over the last year and a half, replacing a much smaller building built in 1954.
The station on Linden Ave. features brick and glass outside “to visually tie the facility to the surrounding neighborhood,” including nearby BF Day Elementary. Inside, firefighters enjoy individual bunk rooms, a large kitchen, an outdoor deck with a view of downtown, a TV room and a workout gym. The facility houses a crew of four firefighters to staff Engine 9.
The most striking element of the new station is Peter Reiquam’s sculpture, “Nine Lives” — a giant black cat poised to leap from the top of the building. Explains the fire department, “The sculpture is inspired by the Eveready Battery icon, the adopted “mascot” of the station for several decades, and serves as a symbol to the community that their firefighters are ‘Ever Ready.’”
As is typical of new fire stations in Seattle, it does not feature a pole for safety reasons. However, Seattle Fire says it was designed for speedy response times.
During the open house, firefighters entertained the kids by demonstrating gear and letting little ones sit in the fire engine. There were also games, gifts and Top Pot donuts and coffee.
While construction was underway, firefighters worked out of an interim facility nearby. Fire Station 9 is one of 32 neighborhood fire stations being upgraded, renovated or replaced through the Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Program, which was approved by Seattle voters in 2003.