Union donates to community, charities

SOUTHBRIDGE — While Town officials look into the long-term viability of the fire station, firefighters are giving locals the chance to take the firehouse home … sort of.

International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2194, representing the union members of the Southbridge Fire Department, are selling wooden cutouts of the Elm Street firehouse. The cutouts are being sold for $20 each as part of a fundraising effort. “Local 2194 prides itself on helping fund community organizations and donating to other charitable causes throughout the year,” the union wrote in a Facebook post advertising the cutout. The unique piece of wooden artwork is produced by The Cat’s Meow Village, an Ohio company that creates generic and custom wooden cutouts.

Those interested may purchase the cutout at the fire station, 24 Elm Street, or by contacting any member of IAF Local 2194.

The firehouse on Elm Street was built in 1899, and is the lone active firehouse in Southbridge. The 119-year-old firehouse has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1989, and has become the focus of the Town’s Fire Station Building Committee. The bays of the firehouse are not large enough to accommodate many modern fire engines and apparatus, resulting in the Town often paying more to customize smaller engines that can enter and exit the firehouse. The Fire Station Building Committee is tasked with investigating the feasibility of the firehouse in comparison to renovation, expansion, or the construction of a new firehouse.

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