VIDEO: Peoria firefighters celebrated the history and memories within the oldest fire station in the River City. It opened in 1952 and is expected to close next month.
“If you wanted to prove yourself as a firefighter, you came to Station 4,” said Interim Chief Shawn Sollberger.
The same message spread through all the firefighters who gathered Thursday night.
“This was the place to be if you were a firefighter,” said retired Peoria Fire Captain Robert Sollberger. They said their bittersweet goodbyes to the original Station 4.
“When I came down here as a young man they told me, ‘That’s where the real firefighters are working. That’s where the guys that are saving lives and putting out fires are working,’” said retired Peoria Fire Chief Kent Tomblin.
Dozens of retirees, current firefighters and community members laughed as they shared stories from the city’s oldest station.
“I wish I never left,” said Tomblin.