Residents attended an open house event at Riverview's Fire Station 16 last month.

Riverview residents were able to get a close up look at one of the area’s most important buildings last month. Fire Station 16, located at 9205 Kevin St. in Riverview, hosted an open house event welcoming residents to tour the busy firehouse and get to know the men and women who work there.

According to Eric Seidel, the Public Information Officer with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, the fire station underwent a complete remodel in 2016, and this was the first opportunity residents had to tour the facility since its completion.

“We felt that it was time to host a delayed open house event to show off our beautiful facility and give the public a chance to look around,” said Seidel.

Not only were residents given tours of the building during the event, but children were also able to use real fire hoses, explore the fire engines and participate in junior firefighter challenges. Sparky the Fire Dog was also in attendance for photographs and a grilled lunch was available for purchase, benefitting the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Foundation.

The three-bay firehouse was built in 2016 on the location that housed a much smaller fire station built in 1968.

“The previous station was used when the area was much smaller as a volunteer station,” said Seidel. “At that point, it had three bays, but only one with drive-through capabilities, an office and a small kitchen, so as the area grew, it was natural that a new station became a necessity.”

Now, Station 16 has the capacity for six vehicles and is home to a fire engine, a brush truck and a rescue vehicle.

“The county, especially this area, is seeing so much growth that we are constantly amending our 10 year plan and are looking to open more stations in the future,” said Seidel.

To learn more about Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, visit www.HCFLGov.net.