In East Spencer, firefighters complete station renovation with local help
By Josh Bergeron
EAST SPENCER — With their own money, help from local people and businesses and hard work, firefighters recently completed renovations of the station on South Long Street.
The East Spencer Fire Department showed off the renovations on Saturday during the department’s first open house and community day. There’s more work to do later this year too, said Fire Chief Josh Smith. Altogether, he estimates the amount of money contributed by firefighters and private individuals and in-kind donations by businesses to be $4,000.
The renovations required many hours of sweat and elbow grease — about three weeks of work — but East Spencer firefighters say it was all worth it.
The station’s main floor required the most work, firefighters said. Tool Rental Depot donated a concrete grinder to start work on the main floor.
“We spent three-straight nights, just running the grinder and rotating people in and out,” said Capt. Zach Belgie of the East Spencer Fire Department.
Belgie works part time in construction, so the department turned to him for advice during the project, firefighters said.
Belgie joked that the recent renovations started when firefighters wanted to wall off an upstairs area.
“Then we got carried away,” he said. “One thing led to another. We said ‘there’s a lot of momentum and let’s keep going.’ ”
After firefighters and volunteers used the grinder on the floor, they primed it with two coats of paint. Next, the floor needed two applications of epoxy coatings. Finally, it needed to be clear-coat sealed.
The fire department completed renovations of an office space and bathroom, too. The department painted various other sections of the station, including the exterior.
While painting the floor, however, workers ran into trouble after realizing they purchased two different batches of gray paint.
“When we got done, we realized part of the floor was a little bit darker than the other,” Smith said.
As a result, they had to repaint the floor.
As the renovations were underway, Smith said fire trucks were parked outside of the station and volunteers worked shifts manning the trucks as others worked inside. Those inside the station often worked until 2 a.m. or 3 a.m., Smith said.
Before the recent renovations, East Spencer Fire Department’s main floor was stained with oil and grease. There were chips in the concrete, too.
Smith said he hopes the renovations provide a sense of pride among the department’s firefighters and in the community.
He said the department could begin more renovations to its station this fall.
Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246
I started the day with a plan to get quite a bit done since I didn’t expect to do many... read more