Brick-&-mortar history demo’d

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TOLONO — After more than 50-years, the village’s old fire department is demolished. It’s to make way for future development; possibly a new police department.

Plenty of people came out to see the building crumble, but for one woman, it was personal. Decades of history came tumbling down in just about an hour.

People braved the morning heat to catch a glimpse of their town’s old fire station coming down.

“This has been here for years and years!”

But, for 80-year old Carol Mohr, it’s part of her history too. She grew up the daughter of the town’s fire chief.

“His real name was Roscoe, but he went by Joe McGee and everybody in Tolono  knew Joe McGee.”

They’ve long since outgrown it, but the fire station was just what the department needed when it was built in the 50’s. It was the perfect childhood play-place for Mohr and her sisters.

“What are some of your memories of playing with your sisters at the fire station?”

“Well, ringing the bell and climbing on the fire truck and stuff like that.”

While you can’t ring it anymore, that bell now sits in front of the new fire station which opened in 2014.

“The other one is so much nicer.”

That’s why she says she’s okay with the old station coming down.

“It’s been, you know, they haven’t used it for years, only for storage.”

She’s happy the village and its department are looking toward the future.

“The new one is made up for, you know, this.”

The building was originally scheduled for demolition earlier this summer, but faced a few setbacks as crews fought asbestos. The new station is just a few blocks away.   

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