Fire District Sells North End Fire Station

The out-of-service and nonfunctional north-end station was sold earlier this month.

Vashon Island Fire & Rescue (VIFR) has sold its Station 59, an out-of-service and nonfunctional north-end station located at 11983 Vashon Hwy SW.

The building, listed with Windermere Real Estate, went for considerably over its listing price of $150,000 after it received 11 offers, said Fire Chief Matt Vinci.

According to property records, the building’s new owners, Vashon Owl Response Team LLC, paid $340,000 for the station, in a sale recorded on Sept. 11.

The LLC, according to records, was formed in August.

Its registered agent, Peter Meyers, replied to a request for comment via text, expressing gratitude that VIFR accepted the offer made by his LLC.

“We expected this to be a very competitive listing and [VIFR] obviously benefitted from the fact that we were required to compete with many other significant offers,” Meyers wrote. “In the near term, there are no plans to change this iconic Vashon structure. However, we will be reaching out to The Vashon Island Pet Protectors (VIPP), whose mission we strongly support, to explore some ways we can use the existing building to further their wonderful volunteer work helping Vashon’s people and pets.”

Another fire district property, at 10011 SW Bank Rd — located directly across the street from its Bank Road Station 55 — also recently went on the market.

The commercial building, listed at $725,000 by Windermere agent Connie Cunningham, currently houses a King County Courthouse and Vashon’s King County Sheriff’s Office, which lease the property.

According to Vinci, all proceeds from the sale of Station 59 and the Bank Road property will go to pay for much-needed renovations to the main fire station.

Even as VIFR seeks to shed these properties, it will soon reopen its Burton Fire Station.

Last month, commissioners voted to authorize the purchase of a new, 615 square foot, two-bedroom modular housing structure to house two full-time career fighters at the district’s Burton Fire Station (56), starting in November.

The reopening of Station 56, according to the district, will improve emergency response times island-wide and also prevent the possibility of home insurance costs rising for hundreds of island residents who live in neighborhoods on the island’s southern end.

The new modular structure, to be placed in the existing parking area on the western side of Burton Station, is now on order from its manufacturer, Wolf Industries. The housing and its installation cost the district $146,350 — an amount transferred from the district’s reserve fund.

Staffing change

Fire Chief Matt Vinci has confirmed that Scot McDonald, who was hired in May as VIFR’s division chief of Fire and Emergency Medical Services Operations, is no longer employed by the district.

McDonald’s employment ended in early September said Vinci, who declined further comment on the personnel matter.

At the time of McDonald’s hire, VIFR announced that he would oversee shift staffing and fire and emergency medical services operations.

McDonald was also tasked with spearheading the district’s participation in Mobile Integrated Health — a county-wide program funded by King County’s EMS Levy, that will enable VIFR to provide additional resources, including home visits, for high-need patients on Vashon.

Vinci said that he, Division Chief of Training and Support Services Ben Davidson, and other key staff members have stepped up to cover McDonald’s responsibilities and that the delivery of Mobile Integrated Health will not be delayed due to McDonald’s departure.

A new hiring process to fill the position will be announced in the coming months, he said.