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Land gift for OXFD

December 29, 2010 - Christmas is over with, but the Oxford Fire Department has one more present under the tree and it's a big one.

Jack McMahon, owner of the Oxford McDonald's, donated approximately 3.09 acres of land to the department.

"I definitely appreciate him looking out for the community," said Fire Chief Pete Scholz. "He's always been a strong supporter of community activities. I know he's been a supporter of the fire department for many, many years."

The donation consists of part of the land on which the old McDonald's restaurant (280 N. Washington St.) used to sit, plus an adjacent vacant lot to the south. The property contains 209.5 feet of M-24 frontage, but then stretches eastward.

A total of about 2.87 acres is located in the township, while the remaining 0.22 acres is situated within the village.

The land borders the northern and eastern portions of Oxford Fire Station #1's property at 96 N. Washington St.

"It's going to help us greatly," Scholz said. "One of our dreams since we got the property here and built our station was to be able to build a training tower behind it. This will give us the space to hopefully put one up in the future."

A training tower is multi-story building that enables firefighters to practice using ladders, going up and down stairs and rescuing people out of upper windows.

"Some of them actually have standpipes that we can hook the trucks up to and flow water, like we're hooking into a sprinkler system," Scholz explained. "Some of them even have 'heat rooms' in which you can actually build a small fire, so the guys can practice rescuing people in smoke-filled environments."

Scholz noted the tower could be built "whenever we can come up with the money." A training tower itself can cost anywhere from $100,000 to close to $1 million, depending "on how big and fancy you get," the chief said.

That cost doesn't include site improvements such as installing a driveway to access it.

"Depending on where it ends up being and how much work goes into it, the cost could vary quite a bit," Scholz said.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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