The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

December 24, 2012

Fire company’s gift: A new hall

NORTHERN CAMBRIA — The Northern Cambria branch of the First National Bank of Pennsylvania is giving the Spangler Fire Company a Christmas present, a gift that will open the door for a tremendous amount of work, but result in an equally tremendous improvement.

First National is donating the Keystone Building, a large three- story brick structure that has fallen into disrepair in recent years.

Located at 2009 Bigler Ave. in the Spangler section of Northern Cambria, the building once had been the Keystone Bank. In recent years it had been converted into private housing.

It is located next to the Spangler fire hall, a building that has seen better days.

“We’re in dire need of a new fire hall,” said company President Robert Bradford. “Right now we’re trying to work out the details.”

The building housing the fire hall is more than 100 years old. In recent years it has turned into a maintenance headache, Bradford said.

Looking toward a possible donation from First National, the fire company, which operates with about 25 active members, already had acquired a building that was all but hooked onto the fire hall, he said.

The deed transfer completed a process that began in July 2010, John Williams, First National president said in an email.

“This decision reflects one of First National Bank’s core values,” Williams said. “We appreciate what the Spangler Fire Department contributes to the health of the community, and we are privileged to support those efforts by donating the building for a purpose that will benefit the entire community.”

Fire company officials hope to be working on demolition of the building, an undertaking that will carry a significant price tag.

A number of fundraising efforts are already under way to pay for the demolition and construction of the new fire hall.

Bricks can be purchased through the fire company bearing the names of people who want to help play a role in the project.

“This has been a long process,” Bradford said. “We have good hard-working people down there and we’d like to start (on demolition) in the spring.”

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