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      Hundreds come out for new Columbia fire station

      Hundreds of Columbia residents came out today for the grand opening of the city's newest fire station.Fire station nine is located on the north end of town, at the intersection of Providence and Blueridge Roads.The area was chosen for the station because of the tremendous residential growth that's been happening over the last couple years in that part of town.We certainly expect to start running as a primary service area, said Steve Sapp with the Columbia Fire Department. 6,700 calls for service this year alone so we know it's gonna have a tremendous impact."After a brief ceremony, firefighters and citizens helped drive one of the engines into the new building for the first time.A band also played during the open house."Vanderveen's a huge subdivision, and over here, there's a fire station way out off Worley and then closer to Oakland but there's not one right in the middle," said resident Hilary Oncken.The fire house has been under construction for about a year.The project's been in the works for several years.Back in 2005, voters approved a sales tax extension which paid for the construction and will provide for other fire related needs through the years.