Ground broken for firehouse addition
George Henning Sr. operates a bulldozer at the site of the addition to the Albrightsville firehouse. Talking to him is Al Blew.
Albrightsville Fire Company, Kidder Township, has been fundraising to build an addition to its firehouse. On Oct. 2 it broke ground on land donated by the Kibler Estate. Expected cost will be $400,000 and the bulb of a thermometer is already red with the receipt of a $200,000 donation from the Department of Community and Economic Development.
County Commissioner Wayne Nothstein said meetings were held in the next-door one-room schoolhouse until the original building was completed in 1977. Since then there was a previous addition.
Rich Smallenburg, president, was master of ceremonies for the groundbreaking ceremony.
Pastor Doug Holtz from St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Albrightsville, gave the invocation: "We thank you for leading this fire company in its wonderful, miraculous deeds. We thank you for their vocation."
Smallenburg thanked House Speaker Keith McCall for helping get the grant from DCED. He drew a laugh when he said he expected the rest of the thermometer to be red by the end of the day - an additional $200,000 from those present.
Officers and firemen were introduced, followed by Carbon County Commissioners Wayne Nothstein and Charles Getz.
Nothstein congratulated the fire company for its placement in the state fire parade. He said those gathered should remember how things were. Now there is larger apparatus, more training and more fundraising, and he also credited those who support the fundraisers.
Getz was a founding member of the fire company that celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007. It began with a 1947 pumper. He said Hennings Hotel would still be here if today's equipment had been available when it burned.
"I hear you go out at 3:30 in the morning and think, 'God be with you,'" said Getz who lives just down the road from the firehouse.
He thanked members of the Walter Kibler family for donating the land to the fire company, which "certainly needs the space."
The company had been using the land for parking without realizing they did not own it.
Dennis, Lee and Robert Kibler accepted a plaque for the donation. It reads, "This building project was made possible through the generous donation of the land by the family members of the Walter Kibler Estate." One will go on the building and one went to the family.
Kibler pointed out that there are also two aunts, Bertha and Lucy Selzer, and 16 grandchildren involved in the donation.
The presentation was made by fire chief Bruce Berger.
Dale Hetrick donated the land where the fire company sign is located. He will also receive a plaque.
Mark Heller of Kistler Buildings said the company is happy and proud to be part of the project.
"We're very impressed by their work. We're excited," he said.
Locust Ridge Quarry donated the piles of stone that were waiting to be used in construction.
Smallenburg noted that a junior firefighter, Tyler Michaels, will soon be joining the company.
In closing, Pastor Holtz asked a blessing on the new building.
Fundraisers include first Sunday of the month breakfasts, bingo, an annual horseshow, boot drives, and three softball games a year. Smallenburg said people in the township do not understand that community support is needed.
Donations may be sent to PO Box 133, Albrightsville, Pa. 18210. For information about the fire company check www.AlbrightsvilleFireCo.com