Clayton's fire station reopens after being shut down in 2012

CLAYTON, Calif. (KGO) -- With the closest station five miles away, one East Bay community is celebrating the return of its own fire house. Fire Station 11 in Clayton reopened quietly Friday morning after being shut down since 2012 because of budget cuts during the recession.

Station 11 in Clayton is back in business after being closed down over two years ago. The station is now staffed with one engine and three firefighters, 24 hours a day seven days a week.

"The economy has begun to recover and we're far enough into the recovery where we actually start to see some of the benefits from that," Contra Costa County Fire District spokesperson Robert Marshall said.

The district also received a $9.6 million federal grant that helped them reopen the station sooner than expected.

Station 11 was closed in 2012, one of several in Contra Costa County shut down due to budget cuts.

In September 2013, when the Mt. Diablo fire started on the east side the engine from Clayton would've been the first one in. "Knowing the area and response times. It would have made a tremendous difference if there was a crew here. It probably would not have gotten as large as it did," Contra Costa Fire District Capt. Roger Harless said.

Clayton City Councilman Jim Diaz lobbied for the station's reopening saying, it's a vital resource for the 12,000 people who live in his community. "Like many communities, the community is aging and so they want to make sure that they have ready, available service to come out and assist them with their needs," he said.

Though the federal grant money runs out after two years, the fire district is confident it can keep the station open well beyond that due to increased revenues from property taxes.
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