More than $1.2 million in donations helped build the new Muenster Volunteer Fire Department fire house.
Now, the fire department is throwing open the doors to show off its new home.
Muenster VFD will host an open house starting at 1 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 13, at the new fire house, 421 N. Main St. Fire department leaders said it’s a way to thank everyone who supported its construction, whether through donations or labor.
"We couldn't have done this without the community and the backing of all the citizens,” Chief Mitch Creed said. “Even the surrounding communities chipped in ... we are extremely thankful for all their help."
"We want them to come see what their help built,” he added.
The open house will start with dedication ceremonies in cooperation with the state fire marshal’s association, Creed said. Then starting about 2 p.m., tours will take place every half-hour until the crowd thins. Free hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks will be served, and music will be playing, he said.
Creed said about three-quarters of the building’s construction was funded through donations. The rest, he said, was covered by a loan the industrial board approved for the fire department.
"We've probably been hit up hundreds of times, people wanting to know when we're open,” Creed said, so the department wanted to host an open house as early as possible.
Muenster VFD Trustee Ronnie Felderhoff said the department moved its equipment into the building about two months ago. Some finishing touches are still to come, like the department’s name on the side of the building and a memorial wall for Muenster-area veterans, to be placed along the side of the building where memorial benches and a brick area already are located.
The two-story fire station is sided in Austin stone and brick and has a metal roof, Felderhoff said. The garage section rises the full two stories and has five drive-through bays, with space enough to accommodate a dozen vehicles, he added. The department has seven vehicles now.
The new building also houses state-of-the-art training equipment for the department’s 36 volunteer firefighters, Felderhoff said.
Donations are still being accepted to take care of the rest of the cost, according to Felderhoff.
Firefighters go on about 150 calls a year according to Creed, including mutual aid calls to help fight fires in neighboring areas. Felderhoff said the department has also served as a command center for larger fire response efforts.
The department covers the northwest portion of Cooke County and provides aid to departments elsewhere in Cooke County and in Oklahoma, Felderhoff said.