Bittersweet time for expanding brigade

00:43, May 15 2014
russell anderson
MAKING WAY: Alexandra Volunteer Fire Brigade chief officer Russell Anderson and deputy chief fire officer Mark Hutton with the plans for the new fire station building.

It is with a twinge of sadness the Alexandra Fire Brigade says goodbye to the home of its former caretaker for over 40 years.

On Saturday, the late Sam Corrigall's home will be demolished to make way for an extension to the current brigade building.

Corrigall, who died in 2012 at the age of 92, moved into the fire house when it was built on Centennial Ave in 1968, then shifted to the house next door in the 70s, where he was not only a member of the fire service, but kept the building and gardens immaculate.

Chief fire officer Russell Anderson said Corrigall was still looking after the gardens and filling the breathing apparatus cylinders for Central Otago brigades well past retirement age.

"Poor old Sam kept the lawns so green and immaculate ... the tree is going to stay."

The work was expected to take 17 weeks to complete, which would include a new building in a mirror image of the existing building, and seismic strengthening of the old building.

"It's very exciting times obviously with 33 personnel, two appliances and an operational support unit and with the extra responsibility of the command unit, this will give us everything on the one site."

The Central Otago Command Unit was currently housed at another building because of a lack of space, he said.

There would be a "little bit" of disruption because the brigade would move off-site while the work was undertaken. However, the public would not notice a change to response calls, Anderson said.