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Memories torn away with loss of Fire Station 41

Tina Flippin spent much of her childhood at the firehouse

DALLAS — After 60 years of service, Fire Station 41 in Dallas was eventually going to need to be replaced.

Tina Flippin wishes it didn’t have to be replaced like this.

The station was destroyed by the tornado that touched down in Dallas Sunday night.

“This was just kind of a sentimental piece for me, a second home,” Flippin said Monday with a tear in her eye. “I just needed to say goodbye.”

Flippin lives in Allen, but for much of her life, Fire Station 41 was home.

“Sometimes I’d just sleep on the couch out here.”

For 22 years, her dad, engineer Don Jackson, worked at Fire Station 41.

“My dad, he walks on water as far as I’m concerned,” Flippin said. “He’s the most honorable and compassionate man I know.”

Because he was so selfless, Jackson often sacrificed time at home to serve his community.

“I spent a lot of Christmases and Thanksgivings here,” Flippin said.

As a result, Flippin spent countless birthdays, holidays and special days at work with her dad.

She even celebrated her son’s first birthday at Fire Station 41.

“I still see all of them when I come here,” she said.

Her dad retired and moved out of town a few years ago, but Flippin still spends time at the old firehouse.

“I know that my dad’s not going to be here forever,” she said. “I’ve played over and over in my mind when I don’t have my dad anymore that I was gonna be able to come over here and sit at the fire station and feel close to him again. I don’t have that fire station anymore.”

Fire Station 41 is just a place, but at times like this, it sure feels more like a person.

“That’s one thing I loved about this station so much,” Flippin said.

Tina spent about 30 minutes saying goodbye, but as she was about to leave, a firefighter emerged from the debris holding a plaque with the names of all the retired firefighters who have served at Station 41.

On the end of the plaque was her dad’s name.

When tragedy blows through, it tears down a lot more than just buildings, but what we find beneath the mess are plenty of people willing to help pick up the pieces.

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