A Thursday morning house fire in a Fremont St. triple-decker - only blocks from the city's former East Side Fire Station - came on the heels of a strong statement from the firefighter's union last week, criticizing Mayor Gary Christenson for failing to “prioritize the safety initiatives of our Malden Fire Fighters”, including the creation of a new station for the city's east side.
The fire was put out quickly by firefighters at 15 Fremont Thursday, with no one in the vacant apartment at the time of the blaze. A spokeswoman with the state Fire Marshal's office said the scene remains under investigation.
“It appears that the Malden Fire Department and the concerns of Fire Fighters and citizens alike remain not a priority with the current administration,” union president George Romvos wrote in a statement.
“More than a year after the closing of the Maplewood Fire Station in Ward 6 due to the deplorable conditions of that station, we have yet to see any commitment toward building a new station dedicated to protecting residents on the east side of Malden.”
“Having only two fire stations actually located in Malden to serve nearly 60,000 Malden residents and a third station shared with and located in Revere, is a concern that weighs heavily on our Malden Fire Fighters, especially when we worry about response times,” he concluded.
Christenson: Station will be debated in the fall
Mayor Gary Christenson mentioned that the city was involved in negotiations for a new fire station during his , but said that did not mean the purchase was imminent.
“There is no update,” Christenson wrote when asked about the status of those negotiations. “All of the focus has been on the (Fiscal Year) 2013 budget. Items such as a new fire station will be debated in the fall as part of the capital budget.”
The city has toyed with building a new east side fire station for decades, but the issue became a hot topic during a in April last year, after Fire Chief Michael Murphy following commissioned by former Councilor-At-Large Deborah Fallon.
That forced firefighters back into the Overlook station, which they share with Revere.
Romvos did not respond to repeated calls for further comment this month.