Tacoma turns down $1 million in concessions from fire union

TACOMA, Wash. -- The city has turned down $1 million in concessions from the Tacoma Fire Union that could have restored some services at two of its fire stations.

The union made the offer in an attempt to reverse the cutbacks that left two stations without fire engines and one of them open only during daytime.

The union said it will make sure the Tacoma City Council hears its side of the story, and hopes a counter offer will be made sometime in the future.

The cutbacks left Station 13 and Station 15 without fire engines and with just two firefighters as of 7 a.m. Tuesday. Station 13 began operating only from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The new deployment model was tested within its first hour of operation when a {A href=""}house caught on fire fewer than two blocks from Station 13.

The department responded to the electrical fire at 4010 N. 25th St. at 7:49 a.m., with the first fire engine arriving at 7:53 a.m. from Station 9 on 6th Avenue.

Two residents were inside the house at the time, Tacoma Fire Department spokesperson Jim Zuluaga said, but there were no reported injuries.

The station's newly formed Squad 13, a team of two firefighters in a pick-up truck, was actually responding to another call at the time.

If the squad had been available, its role would have been to search the home and rescue anyone inside, not necessarily to extinguish the blaze.