San Diego

Julian Fire Station Empty as Legal Battle Continues

The heated legal battle between volunteer firefighters in Julian and the county of San Diego continues, but one thing is settled, the fire truck that went missing last week has been returned.

While nearby fire stations still serve the area, the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District fire station on state Route 79 is currently closed.

If you ring the front doorbell, no one will answer, signs are posted outside telling residents to call 911 in case of emergency.

The station is closed because of the ongoing dispute over who should operate station.

Financial troubles with the Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District run by volunteers led to a series of votes by the agency's boards and the public which ultimately led to the station to be transferred into the hands of the San Diego County Fire Authority.

But, the volunteer firefighters and their backers filed a lawsuit raising questions about the transparency of the process and refused to leave the station.

Last week, the county asked the sheriff's department to look into a missing fire truck assigned to the station, a spokesperson for the county said it disappeared sometime back in April.

This past weekend when the County finally took over the station, the truck reappeared.

In downtown, Julian locals told NBC 7 that they assumed the volunteer firefighters had it all along - either stowed away in a nearby barn, or property, or maybe even just at the other volunteer station a few miles away.

Locals told NBC 7 that they want the volunteers to prevail in this court battle.

A judge will decide which agency operates out of this fire station.

The next court hearing is on June 7th.

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