The need for a city fire station in South Tempe came sharply into focus in the Wrangler News parking area on Aug. 30—hours before the paper’s Sept. 2 edition was due to go to print.
A spectacularly viewed fire erupted in a 2010 Ferrari 2-seat sports car, which originally sold for $225,000, after the driver, who was southbound on the Price/101 freeway, said he smelled smoke coming from the rear engine compartment and heard what he thought was a backfire.
By the time he had pulled into the parking area, across the street from GoDaddy’s Tempe location, flames were streaming from the back of the vehicle. Several people in the lot called 911 and others hurriedly reached for fire extinguishers, but the flames already had reached nearconflagration levels.
The time that passed after multiple phone calls to 911, one of which was transferred three times, according to the caller, exceeded 10 minutes, with a Chandler fire crew finally arriving from the closest available station, which like others in many parts of the country is linked through a joint-use agreement that ensures response from the nearest station, no matter the originating station.
In this case, as in many responding to emergency-medical calls from a kidney dialysis center in the same business center, crews from Chandler are quicker to arrive at the scene. The nearest Tempe fire station is on Elliot Road west of Rural.
A plan to build a Tempe Fire substation in Tempe’s Estrada Park, which is on McClintock Drive north of Warner Road, has drawn complaints from some residents in the Estates la Colina neighborhood, who argue their area does not want to lose the recreational offerings that might be sacrificed as a result of building a fire station at the site.