City Apologizes After Misleading Media About Fire Station Closing

City Apologizes After Misleading Media About Fire Station Closing

City apologizes for bad timing, residents angry about station closure.
MEMPHIS, TN—People in north Memphis are not happy about losing their fire station. Fire Station #6 services more than 1,000 residents. And that does not include businesses, churches or schools in that area. There are a lot of elderly residents that live next to the fire department and worry what will happen next.

"How far do they got to come if our house catches on fire," asked Maxine Taylor a North Memphis resident.

Ms. Taylor lives right behind Fire Station number six. She's been living there almost as long as the fire station has been in service since the 1950's. As a fire survivor, she worries who's going to help her now that her station is scheduled to close on August 1st.

"I hope they change their minds and keep it open," she said.

"It's just putting all of us at risk," said another neighbor Jason Gardner.

He owns several properties in the area and wasn't happy to hear the local fire station will close.

"That's going to be a big loss in the neighborhood. We need fire departments and with this being an older house, I definitely feel unsafe now," said Gardner.

The city of Memphis supports Fire Director Alvin Benson's decision to shut it down due to budget cuts.

"The director ultimately determined the best solution was to balance out the load between several stations and resulted in cutting two stations," said Memphis Chief Administrator George Little.

Tuesday afternoon the fire union got word about the North Memphis fire station closing. When Local 24 News tried to confirm it with city leaders they told us it wasn't true. Tuesday night at 11:10pm the city realized they gave us bad information.

"I did apologize," said Little. "When I realized what had happened literally at the time when I was responding to your earlier inquiry at that time that's when Director Benson at that time contacted the mayor and myself said hey, this is what we got to do."

Neighbors are hoping the city will reverse its decision, and keep this place open. So far this year firefighters at station six responded to more than 600 emergency calls.

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