Pawtucket mayor holds fire station discussion, after decision was already made to close it

By Kirsten Glavin

kglavin@abc6.com

@kirstenglavin

PAWTUCKET, RI –  "I thought to myself, ‘Oh, a small fire in the basement. They’ll get to that right away.’ But that certainly wasn’t the case,” said Kathy Labossiere, holding up a photo of her house up in flames.

Labossiere knows first–hand how important response time is when a home is on fire.

"Within minutes it spread to my living room second floor window. And that was the fire coming through,” she said, pointing. She was one of many that packed a Pawtucket Elementary school room Wednesday night, voicing concerns over public safety.

Pawtucket mayor Donald Grebien took to the podium to lay out his plan to close Fire Station 3, saying it still allows the remaining stations to respond to a fire within the 4 minute standard.

Others, including city firefighters, were not convinced.

One firefighter explained to the crowd that response time is critical, and with every 30 seconds a fire doubles in size.

The mayor however stuck to his guns, advocating for station closure due to budget concerns.  He said despite public criticism, it had nothing to do with pleasing the owners of the Pawsox, as well as any changes to McCoy stadium.

Many in the crowd became livid once Mayor Grebien announced the decision to close the station had already been made. People questioned why they were spending their time discussing the issue in the first place.