Station 16 was designated as a Paramedic Engine this year and will soon be a satellite Hazmat Station.
Station #16 was built in 1961 at a cost of $60,000. The station was opened to serve far West Dallas and transferred the designation of a previous #16, located at 5501 Columbia (the building still stands). The original station was erected in 1918. The ten man crew was assigned to maintain an American LaFrance rotary gear 750-gallon pumper; an American LaFrance hook and ladder truck, in reserve; and one 4,500 foot, 2 1/2 inch cotton rubber-lined fire hose. When the City decided to close old #16-since Station #19 was a mile away-the citizens in the community were upset and filed a petition for its retention. In those days, the Station served a well to do area known as the "Old Munger Addition: consisting of many large, two story houses. The City, however, followed its plans and closed #16. Today, the buildings being remodeled for use as a church.
The present Station #16 was built in 1961 and contains 4,775 square feet.
The district and occupancies served by Engine 16 range from small "shotgun" homes, to large commercial occupancies, to housing projects. While most of the commercial occupancies along Singleton Blvd. pose no unusual dangers or particularly hazardous situations, there are a few plants that warrant special firefighting considerations, such as the Texaco Sales Terminal and the Thompson-Hayward Chemical Company, which is located directly behind the station. Hazardous spills that have warranted these special firefighting considerations are: December 27, 1983-2627 Weir Street at the Thompson-Hayward storage yard sulfuric acid escaped from a several thousand gallon tank. Engine 16 diluted the spill, and no major evacuation was required. September 18, 1984-Singleton and North Walton Walker Blvd. an 18-wheel gasoline tanker truck overturned while driving up the approach to northbound Walton Walker. Engine 16 used its deck gun to prevent ignition of the escaping gasoline. The intersection was closed for approximately two hours while the gasoline was transferred to another tanker. May 7, 1985-3900 Singleton at the Texaco terminal gasoline escaped from transfer piping between the storage tanks. Engine 16 set up a multiversal to spray the gasoline-contaminated surface. The emergency continued for two and a half hours until Texaco crews suctioned-up the fuel.
Much of the extensive firefighting performed by Engine 16 has recently been on mutual aid. The engine has been assigned to adjoining cities, such as Grand Prairie, Irving and Cockrell Hill for major commercial and residential fires. Among the memorable fires was August 20, 1982-a five alarm fire at the Lavilla Roma Apartments, 3739 Higgins Avenue in Cockrell Hill. The call for mutual aid was received at 10:25 a.m., with the first arriving company immediately transmitting a second alarm. Engine 16 answered the fire on the second. The fire was engulfing all three sections of the two story U-shaped apartment structure. At the height of the fire, a towering column of black smoke was visible from ten miles distance. There was an exposure of another tow story apartment immediately across an alley to the north. Firefighters not only fought the heat of the blaze, but also that of the Texas August sun. Extensive search and rescue operations were conducted with elderly and children being led to safety. After the containment of the blaze, search crews discovered a male fire victim in a second story apartment near the point of origin. Two MICUs provided on the scene assistance to smoke inhalation victims; 733 transported one injured civilian to a hospital for treatment.
While the station is "out of the way," hidden off Chalk Hill Rd, the personnel frequently are visited by other station personnel, particularly MICU crews. The station is located next door to the old Fire Department's Maintenance Facility which closed in 1987 when the department opened the new facility at 5000 Dolphin Road. While waiting for an apparatus to be repaired, firefighters/paramedics used to walk next door for soda/coffee and a firehouse chat.
Personnel at Station #16 utilize their individual talents to improve living quarters by initiating and completing projects such as building cabinets and supply lockers for storage.