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Burnaby building new fire station just outside Trans Mountain tank farm fence

The Burnaby Fire Department's aging Duthie Avenue fire hall will be rebuilt on Greystone Drive west of Pinehurst Drive in a green belt right beside Trans Mountain's Burnaby Mountain Terminal.

The City of Burnaby has revealed it will build a new fire hall on a piece of city-owned land in the very shadow of the Trans Mountain tank farm.

Fire Station 4, which has stood at 2326 Duthie Ave. since 1956, will be rebuilt on Greystone Drive east of Pinehurst Drive, with only a bit of green belt between it and Trans Mountain’s Burnaby Mountain Terminal, according to City of Burnaby communications manager Chris Bryan.

The new location has multiple advantages besides being close to the terminal in case of an emergency, according to Bryan.

He said the city already owns the property; the large size of the lot (14.5 acres) will allow for a buffer between the fire hall and its residential neighbours; and the location will allow fire crews to meet the parameters for expected response times in their service area.

Building the new Station 4 in a different location also means the city won’t have to establish a temporary fire hall while the new one is being built.

Ground will break on the project in the next “month or two,” and the new station is expected to be operational by the end of next year, according to Bryan.

The city has yet to determine what it will do with the Duthie Avenue site after the new station is built, he said..

Long time coming

City officials have long known the Duthie fire hall needed to be replaced.

A 2002 consultant’s report described the station as “marginally adequate for current operations.”

And a 2019 report reiterated that finding.

“The key findings and recommendation made in the 2002 Needs Assessment Study holds true today, plus 18 years – Station 4 is barely adequate,” stated the report.

City officials earmarked funds for the replacement project in every one of the city’s five-year financial plans since 2008, but there was no apparent progress on it until this past May, when council approved a $50-million contract that will see the Station 4 replacement bundled with the construction of a new fire hall at SFU.

In 2008, the city had earmarked $5.1 million for the replacement project. The current price tag is about $25 million.

The two new fire halls will be nearly identical for cost efficiency, according to the city.

Features of the new Station 8

  • 15,000 square feet on two levels
  • Three drive-through bays for vehicles
  • Separated decontamination space for crews  
  • Seismically designed to meet post-disaster standards
  • Low-carbon heating and operations

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor