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Thousands welcome new Fire Station 21 today

The Defenders of Greenwood welcomed the community to their new Fire Station 21 in Phinney-Greenwood today, and thousands of neighbors packed into the new two-story station.

The truck bay as seen from the stairwell.

Several tables were set up around the truck bay, with various activities for children, from coloring their own stickers, to correctly identifying hot objects they should never play with, to stacks of red plastic fire hats (which I noticed a few adults were wearing as well!)

Children color their own stickers.

Kids also got to try on official firefighting gear.

And meet Seattle Fire Chief Gregory Dean.

Top Pot Doughnuts had its mobile truck parked outside, handing out free old-fashioned donuts.

Artist Perri Lynch (below, second from left) designed and fabricated the stone-and-glass sculpture in front of the station. By the end of the month, the glass panels of the sculpture will be lit bluish-green when the firefighters are in-house, and will change to reddish-orange when the firefighters are on a call.

Just before this morning’s open house, the owners of Avanti Art & Design right across the street, presented the firefighters with a specially framed Fire Station 21 flag. The flag used to fly from the back of the fire engine many years ago. Several months ago, the firefighters had asked Avanti for a simple frame for the flag.

Instead, Avanti’s co-owners, Wendy Keen and Emmalee Bozek, asked a friend, woodcarver Baer Charlton to create something special.

Charlton found some 100-year-old vertical grain fir that had been in a fire. Charlton estimated he spent “more than 40, less than a hundred” hours creating the frame, which is 3 feet wide and 4 feet tall.

“It needs to be preserved and it needs to be showed off appropriately,” Charlton said.

Textile artist Charlene Bozek did the hand dying for the fabric backround.

The owners of Avanti said they missed having the firefighters across the street while the new station was under construction, and are happy to have them back.

“They’re the ones keeping us safe out there, Keen said. “We’re just really happy to have them watching out for us.”

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