Members of the Antioch Fire Department broke ground Oct. 2nd for a new fire station. The department was started in 1961 by a group of volunteers at their current location on Highway 39 just north of Highway 42. Kendall Hocutt, who has been the fire chief for the last 17 years, said the department has outgrown the 59 year-old fire station and also needs a more centralized location.
“We had some areas towards the Flower Hill community that was not in a fire district. They were obviously paying higher insurance premiums. By moving, we worked with Johnston County GIS and the county fire marshal, we tried to find the most centralized location in the fire district and to put those folks in a five mile fire district. We are pretty close but not exact because we had to convince some people to sale us the land. We were able to secure a location on Highway 42 and can have 99 percent of citizens in a fire district,” Chief Hocutt said.
The new 13,600 square foot station will be located on Highway 42 just east of Renfrow-Narron Road. It will include 5 truck bays, a meeting room, training room, kitchen, administrative offices, sleeping quarters, bathrooms and showers. The building will cost $2.1 million and will be repaid through a USDA low-interest loan. The volunteer department was able to secure a $30,000 state grant to go towards the cost.
Chief Hocutt says construction is expected to begin this month with completion in 11 months, weather permitting.
The Antioch Fire Department has 38 volunteers and one part-time paid employee. The department averages 350 fire and first responder calls annually.
Chief Hocutt hopes the new fire station will be something that will make the Antioch community proud. “We feel like we are building a facility that will house the fire service needs of this community for the next 40 to 50 years. This station has room for expansion as the community grows, as we didn’t want to be shortsighted that in 5 to 10 years down the road we would have said we should have done more. That has been our goal. To put the most people in a five mile district, in a facility the community can be proud of and serve the community for many years to come.”