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Long delayed replacement for tornado damaged fire station in Dallas opens, but it's temporary

Preston Hollow gets temporary fire station after tornado destroyed previous one
Preston Hollow gets temporary fire station after tornado destroyed previous one 02:06

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Nearly three years after a tornado destroyed the old Preston Royal fire house, the neighborhood is getting a new one.  

With just a tent for the fire truck and a mobile home for the firefighters, Temporary Fire Station 41 is intended, as its name suggests, to serve as a temporary home until a permanent station can be built.

"Excited to be back in the area! I know our firefighters are," said Dallas Fire Chief Dominique Artis.

Chief Artis said the new fire station at the corner of Royal Lane and the Dallas North Tollway will help improve response times in Northwest Dallas.

The temporary station was originally expected to open in the summer of 2021. The city has blamed COVID, supply chain disruptions, labor shortage and permitting issues for repeated delays.

"I'm anxious to have that be open," said Dallas City Council member Gay Donnell Willis, who represents the area, in a city council meeting last week.

"This is urgent. This is right off the Tollway, so it can go everywhere in the city pretty quickly," said Council member Cara Mendelsohn, who s aidthe station helps backup those in her Far North Dallas district.

"It's just astounding to me it's taken this long to get it done," she said.

The city, which has considered opening other temporary replacement for stations, said it's unlikely to see similar delays in the future.

"It's the first time we've ever tried anything like that here in the city of Dallas. So, we've learned a lot and also learned how to do this a lot better if we ever decide to do it again," said Chief Artis.

It's not clear how long Temporary Fire Station 41 will be in service. A permanent replacement is planned, but it's also far behind schedule. Construction has yet to begin.

For now, the Dallas Fire Department is happy just to be back in the neighborhood.  

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