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Fire station groundbreaking honors fallen firefighters

SALISBURY — It’s been 10 years since Salisbury firefighters Justin Monroe and Victor Isler died while battling a fire at Salisbury Millworks. On Tuesday, the men were honored during the groundbreaking for Salisbury Fire Station No. 6, which will bear their names.

In attendance at the ceremony were Monroe’s mother, Lisa, and Isler’s wife, Tracy, along with city officials.

The new station, which will be at 310 Cedar Springs Road, will have a primary fire-response district in the incorporated areas south of Mid-Carolina Regional Airport. The city purchased the property for the fire station in early 2017.

Asked what her son would think, Lisa Monroe said: “He would be excited.”

“My son was such a humble person. He would be amazed, so for these two families to be honored, it’s truly a blessing. We thank everybody,” she said.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” Monroe said.

Tracy Isler declined to comment.

“Today we are making memories, making history,” said Fire Chief Bob Parnell.

The location will allow firefighters to reduce response time in the area.

“As you know, time counts, seconds count,” Parnell said.

He said the station is in a great place because of its proximity to Interstate 85.

He said naming the station after the two firefighters allowed the city and firefighting community the opportunity to honor Monroe and Isler and to be sure future firefighters know their names.

Battalion Chief Nick Martin said the station will increase the serviceability of the Fire Department by 20 percent.

“It’s an investment in people. It’s the people that make things happen,” Martin said.

The station will also be a training facility and will house hazmat and medical crews. Three to four people will work out of the station daily thanks in part to a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant. Nine firefighters will be added to the roster using the grant.

“Their memories will carry on in our hearts, in the hearts of their families and the community,” Parnell said of Monroe and Isler.

In addition to turning over dirt, Lisa Monroe and Tracy Isler — along with city officials and the architect behind the project — signed a shovel and wooden board that will hang inside the station.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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