Fire Station 49 on Prentice Avenue in Madisonville was built in 1910, when firefighters traveled by horse and buggy.
Except for modest updates over the years, such as turning the horse stalls into a kitchen, the building hasn’t changed much. It’s clean and meets city codes, officials say, but the tiny space isn’t comfortable for the firefighters who work 24-hour shifts here.
“They have to get this vehicle in a certain spot because if they don’t, they can’t get out of the kitchen door … because it’s so tight,” Cincinnati Fire District Chief Steve Salmons said, pointing to an engine parked inches from the kitchen door.
The first floor bathroom, which Salmons described as “a box,” is so tiny the door won’t open if the toilet seat is down. Space is so tight that uniforms are stored in rolling lockers.