It was a somber reunion Friday morning as both current and former firefighters gathered outside the fire station that housed the Warren Engine Co. No. 1 to watch it come crashing down.
Three retired firemen were among the group who took the final walk-through of the building, located at southeast corner of the intersection of West Musser and Curry streets, remarking on changes and reliving old memories just minutes before the south wall crumbled.
After the walk through, Bob McCulloch a retired firefighter who worked at the station for 28 years, locked the door for the final time.
"It's locked - forever," said McCulloch.
For Kani Shannon, who began volunteering when he was 17 and spent 25 years serving in the station, watching it fall was bittersweet.
"It's sad to see it go, but life goes on," said Shannon.
At just after 10:15 a.m., the backhoe rumbled to life, destroying chunks of the roof before ripping through the bedroom area and then the kitchen as a crowd of about 30 people looked on.
As he watched the 1950s era building begin to come apart, McCulloch recalled working in the old station.
"The guys in that station, they were like your second family. When I started, there were only two firemen on at a time. You were a firefighter, a dispatcher and a captain. You were everything," he said.
Later, according to McCulloch, when dispatchers were added, the current fire chief, Stacy Giomi, and Sheriff Kenny Furlong were among those who started their careers working in the building.
Giomi turned out Friday morning.
"It's sort of a mixed feeling. When I first started, the building was way past its prime and, while you may have memories of working there or of the people you worked with, you don't necessarily have fond memories of the building," Giomi said.
It will take three days to demolish the building, which housed the Warren Engine Co. and later the Carson City Fire Department until the new station was completed in 1994. The space is scheduled to become parking for the Nevada Attorney General's Office.
-- Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.