LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Lawton firefighters, and retired firefighters celebrated Lawton's original fire station being added to the National Register of Historic Places on Tuesday. Central Fire Station was built in 1930 and was the only fire station until 1942.
During the event, they said that this is the oldest city government building in the City of Lawton and it has been home to some 500 firefighters over the years.
Coming back to Central Fire Station brought back memories for Andrew Valdez who was hired on in 1961.
"It's like home to me," Valdez said. "Ever since I got on the department, it's got a lot of history to it and I love it."
Randy Britton was assigned to Central Station when he became a firefighter in 1972. He served the department for 35 years.
"I miss this place," Britton said. "I miss the fire department, I miss the camaraderie."
He said the hundreds of men who've served the community out of this old building for nearly 90 years have left a proud legacy.
"Some of the guys saved people out of fires, and resuscitated people out at EMS calls, nothing better, nothing better," Britton said. "That's the stories that would come out of this building that are those stories of lives saved, properties saved, that's the biggest stories that are going to come out of this building here."
Fire Chief Dewayne Burks said it has a place in every one of their hearts because of the memories that were created in that building.
"As firefighters, we spend one-third of our life here at the fire station, 24 hours-a-day and you just can't replace a facility that has this much tradition and connection to the citizens," Burk said.
Britton is glad that this building and memories will be protected, thanks to its place on the National Register.
"It's an awesome thing to do with this old building it deserves to be on it," Britton said. "It deserves to be there."