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Keene VFD to open doors on new facility

The Keene Volunteer Fire Department will officially open its new firehouse June 29 at 11 a.m.

The Keene Volunteer Fire Department will officially open its new firehouse June 29 at 11 a.m. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— One of the main symbols of the recovery of the Keene community after Tropical Storm Irene will officially open its doors with a celebration June 29.

The new Keene Volunteer Fire Department will host the celebration starting at 11 a.m., with an opening ceremony and several dignitaries on hand.

The new building gives the fire department a permanent home, something it has not had since the storm waters of the Aug. 28, 2011 tropical storm washed away almost half of the former firehouse.

“We are very proud of the fire department and the commissioners,” Keene Supervisor William Ferebee said. “They have done a lot of work to get it where it is today.”

“It has been a learning process,” Chief Jody Whitney said. “We are very appreciative of all the assistance that we have received from the town, the county, the state and the federal government. We have had an unbelievable number of hours put in by multiple members of the department and it has been nice to see the support from the community not only financially, but the moral support as well.”

“The contractors went above and beyond the call of duty and showed a lot of attention to detail,” Board of Fire Commissioners Chairman Alan Carey said. “We are very happy and ecstatic to be operating out of a single location.”

Ferebee said he was pleased this day was finally here and was also appreciative of the help the department received, especially from the state.

“We are the first fire department in the state to receive any funding like this for the department,” Ferebee said. “I am very proud of what Gov. Cuomo has been able to do for our fire department and for this wonderful new facility.”

The new firehouse is located on Route 73 in Keene, across from the Stewart’s Shop.

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