Station #26 was built in 2002 at a cost of $1,200,000 and contains 10,000 square feet. It is directly across the street from the original station.
The original station #26 was located at 3303 West Jefferson Blvd., and built in 1945 at a cost of $40,000 to serve the West Oak Cliff area. Built on a slope with a rock foundation, #26 has 7,315 square feet. Because of the numerous times the station has been remodeled and its "unusual" foundation, the station has seven different floor levels. Designed and constructed as a two story building, Station #26 is one of the few remaining stations with poles.
The neighborhood served by the station today is mostly residential: single family housing with a few apartment complexes. There are also some small to moderate size commercial occupancies.
While personnel at the station do not recall too many memorable fires, they seemed well versed with April 30, 1983, an unusually hectic day for the routine occurrences of firefighters assigned to #26.
April 30, 1983 started out like any other day for most firefighters; there was the usual camaraderie, agitation and "air" of uncertainty of what the day would bring. Station life was much the same, with firefighters performing their assigned duties. As nightfall approached, the firefighters turned in for what they hoped would be an "uneventful" night. At 1:11 a.m., the speakers opened announcing a two alarm fire at 707 North Madison Avenue (box 642); this was abruptly followed by a third. Firefighters fought and contained the fire to a two story apartment complex. The fire was "tapped out" an hour later. As the weary crews were picking up lines, conversation centered around their latest activity. Engine 26 cleared from the scene and returned to their station. Less than two hours later, the firefighters were dispatched to another fire, that would escalate to a fifth alarm with extra calls for six additional major pieces of apparatus.
The fire, at 2212 West Davis Street (box 567), occurred in the Sharon Apartments. The complex was "U-shaped" and approximately 30 years old. A civil dispute led to the fire bombing of a lower unit near the middle of the building. The apartments were fully involved prior to the arrival of the first alarm companies. Battalion 9 transmitted a second alarm while enroute and a third one minute later. Two elderly persons were rescued, and the occupant of the fire bombed unit was transported to the hospital for treatment. Fireground operations were performed under adverse conditions. A humidity of 80% kept the dense smoke hovering over the courtyard like a blanket. Tenants fleeing the burning buildings crawled through the courtyard on hands and knees in search of breathable air.
The fire was eventually brought under control two hours later. An unusual occurrence existed in that only three of the companies scheduled to respond to the box were available, because companies were still overhauling the third alarm on Madison Avenue.