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Fire Erupts at Fire Station

By Teresa Rochester and Jorge Casuso

April 19 -- Santa Monica firefighters found themselves battling a blaze at their future house, when Fire Station Number 2 on the 200 block of Hollister Avenue caught fire Thursday night, burning a hole in the roof.

Multiple calls poured into the fire department dispatch center beginning at 9:37 p.m., shortly after flames erupted on the upper floor, which houses the new station's dorm, recreation room, bathrooms and weight room.

The fire spread to the attic area of the station, which is still currently construction. No one was injured in the fire, and damage is estimated at $500,000.

Firefighters arriving on scene found heavy smoke and by 9:56 p.m. a second alarm went out, bringing the remainder of on-duty firefighters to the scene.

"It was partly emotional," said department spokeswoman Jill Barnes. "It's our house."

As Santa Monica's 39 on-duty firefighters battled the fire, units from the Los Angeles City Fire Department pitched in after responding to incoming Santa Monica calls.

"It was mutual aid at work," said Barnes.

The fire was out by 10:15 p.m. and investigators are now working to determine its cause.
In a fortuitous twist, firefighting apparatus stored at the new station was moved out only a couple of days ago.

The fire station has been under construction for more than a year and a completion date has not been set.

The firehouse made headlines when the City rejected a design by world-renown Santa Monica architect Thom Mayne, instead opting for the more conservative yellow structure that is near completion.
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