WOODBRIDGE, Conn. (WTNH) -- A firehouse firepit is the source of controversy in Woodbridge. Some say the volunteer fire association knew better than to build a backyard barbecue area without filing the necessary paperwork.
Four years ago, a brand new firehouse was built and neighbors remember the rule.
"It was very clear back when this was approved that there had to be a 100 foot buffer between this track and the firehouse," said one Woodbridge resident who did not want to be identified.
The focus now is an L-shaped seating wall and two firepits on the property facing Fitzgerald Trail.
"I was like oh, where did they come from," said the resident. "It really does disturb the quality of this place. People come and watch birds."
"All the labor was volunteer time and these were not town funds," said Chief Sean Rowland, Woodbridge Fire Department, "they were donations and everything else."
Chief Rowland says the purpose of the pit is to keep volunteers coming back and allow them to enjoy their family here on special occasions.
"If the family is not behind the member, the firefighter, they don't show up as much," Rowland said.
It turns out the hard work may not have paid off for the volunteer firefighters. The fire pit is supposed to be 100 feet from the wetlands. The Inland Wetlands agency has issued a cease and restore order because they're too close.
"We went to Inland Wetlands October 10th and asked permission to get proper approvals to be within the buffer area," Rowland said.
People walking on the trail admit the patio looks beautiful. firefighters are hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst case scenario; the entire patio and wall would have to come down.
"What a waste. I don't understand," the resident said. "If there was some type of miscommunication, I guess you have to give them benefit of the doubt.
"It's like you give an inch, and they took a mile."
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