Chelsea Dispatcher Restores Local Fireboxes To Former Glory

A "before" and "after" of one of Koolloian's firebox paint jobs. Photo: James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio

CHELSEA, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Outdoor fire alarm boxes in Greater Boston take their fair share of punishment from the elements. The boxes were invented about 150 years ago, and some of them sincerely look like they've been there the whole time.

Paul Koolloian, the 911 dispatch supervisor in Chelsea, wants to change that — he's taken the initiative to start refurbishing and repainting the boxes.

"They're becoming decayed and all rusted up... some are actually falling apart when you went to open them up," he said.

The City of Everett gave Chelsea the fireboxes it has decommissioned. Koolloian said salt water and highly active roads had taken a toll on the boxes. He's partnering with a handful of local businesses and helpers to make the job happen: Boston Forging in East Boston gave the city a good price to sandblast all the old paint off, and a friend of his who is an auto-body specialist said he would take on painting the boxes for free as a service to the city.

Koolloian said he painted some of the boxes by himself.

"It's a big process when you're doing it by hand," he said.

WBZ's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) has more in Chelsea:

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