Milton Fire Department is planning to celebrate its past and future on Saturday, July 17, with the rededication of the department’s upgraded fire hall and commemoration of its 120th anniversary.
Milton Town Council quickly and unanimously approved the department’s request to close a section of Front Street between Union Street and Chestnut Street for the festivities. The department is planning to display its fire vehicles, give tours of the upgraded facility and welcome food trucks for the grand opening, which is planned to run from 1 to 4 p.m.
Fire Chief Johnny Hopkins said, “The membership of Milton Fire Department is extremely proud of our recently renovated facility and looking forward to the rededication of our historic building with all of the improvements. Our original building at this location was constructed in the 1950s and last underwent a substantial renovation in the 1980s. Although the renovation and addition efforts were somewhat laborious for all involved, the improvements were well worth the effort in our mission to improve our service to the town of Milton and our surrounding communities.”
Milton Fire Department broke ground on a new $4.6 million renovation to the existing fire hall on Front Street in November 2019. The facility became operational in late 2020.
The renovation included expanding the facility from 12,000 square feet to 26,000 square feet, adding two new vehicle bays and a new HVAC system, and enlarging the community hall, offices, sleeping and recreation areas. The building also includes a lobby and an archive area with the department’s historic records.
The fire station on Front Street has served as the department’s home for more than 70 years; the renovation and expansion are intended to keep up with future growth of the department’s service area.
The department was formed in 1901, and moved to different locations over its first half-century, including being housed at one time in the Fox Theatre, now known as the Milton Theatre. In 1949, the department began construction on the current firehouse on Front Street, which opened in 1950. The department purchased additional property behind the fire hall in the 1960s, which was used for the rear vehicle bay. The first renovation of the building was in 1979, and since then, the department has grown as the areas around Milton have expanded. It now has an emergency service area that stretches from Harbeson to Prime Hook Beach.