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Posted on Sun, Oct 16, 2011 : 3:45 p.m.

Chelsea Area Fire Authority shows off renovations during annual open house

By Lisa Allmendinger


Brennan Faber, 4, of Jackson gets help with a fire hose from Chelsea firefighter Roger Chapman during the Chelsea Area Fire Authority open house Sunday.

Lisa Allmendinger |

Brendon Bollinger, 2, of Sylvan Township made his first trip the Chelsea Area Fire Authority Fire Station Sunday for the annual open house.

After getting help down from the front seat of a fire engine from his father, Derik Bollinger, Brendon said he had fun looking at all the dashboard instruments. Jack Hedglen, 2, of Ypsilanti is “nuts about fire engines,” said his dad, Timothy, who brought him to Chelsea for the event at the newly renovated fire station at 200 West Middle St.


Brendon Bollinger, 2, of Sylvan Township inside a firetruck.

Lisa Allmendinger |

“I got to feel the water, and it was cold,” Jack said after shooting the water from a fire hose with the assistance of Firefighter Roger Chapman.

Andrew Stockton, 7, of Chelsea said “it was cool” to walk a goat for the first time while he visited the open house, which included Colors the Clown, who brought pens full of animals.

Andrew was able to see what was inside a fire engine and an ambulance and sit inside a police car.

In addition to 30 dozen doughnuts donated by the Washtenaw Dairy and about 500 hotdogs donated by Aldi’s, the open house also provided firefighters an opportunity to showcase the renovations that have taken place at the main fire station.


Chelsea fire Capt. Derek Klink holds his son, Tucker, 11 months.

Lisa Allmendinger |

The exterior portion of the about $200,000 Chelsea fire house renovations are complete, which include replacement of the existing roof, siding and trim, relocating the overhead doors, and closing in the front masonry.

“I’m very pleased that the renovation has taken place in time for this successful annual event,” said Rod Anderson, the vice president of the CAFA board and a Chelsea City councilman.

The interior changes - additional space for the dispatch area in the front of the building, and an entrance that will allow for better customer service to residents who stop by the station - are expected to be complete this winter Fire Chief Jim Payeur said.

“No one knew how to get in (the fire station),” Payeur said, of the new access door on the east side of the building.

Once the interior work is complete, there will be a service desk where people can talk to the firefighters.

The 4,875-square-foot fire station was built in 1963 and now has a modernized front of the building. About 7 feet was added onto the new brick front, and a wall was enclosed to square off the building.

In addition, Chelsea’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) agreed to pay about $30,000 for driveway repairs.

Payeur said previously that the renovation of the fire station was one of the things that the Chelsea Area Fire Authority Board promised voters when they approved a 1.8 mill tax levy for fire services in 2009.

Currently, two fire engines, a tanker, a tower and two rescue vehicles are housed inside the building. Payeur said other vehicles are either kept outside or stored at the fairgrounds. With the renovations, all the equipment will be housed at the station.

Phoenix Contractors of Ypsilanti was awarded the contract, and is also currently constructing the city’s new police station on Main Street.

Lisa Allmendinger is a reporter with She can be reached at For more Chelsea stories, visit our Chelsea page.


Chelsea firefighter Roger Chapman, Timothy Hedgden and Jack Hedgden, 2, shoot water from a fire hose.

Lisa Allmendinger |