Tracia (Stephan) Blom works on a mural inside the Dakota City Fire Station.
Tracia (Stephan) Blom works on a mural inside the Dakota City Fire Station.

Dakota City's fire department has been based in their newly built fire station for just over a year now.

“It's been nice to have more space,” said fire chief Clint Rasmussen. “We've been able to do more training, and also it's a nice building to have for the community.”

Finishing touches are still taking place at the building located at 208 S. 21st St., however. One of those finishing touches is a mural honoring fallen firefighters, which is currently being painted by South Sioux City Middle School art teacher Tracia (Stephan) Blom.

“It's definitely a good addition to the fire station,” Rasmussen said. “The final product will look great.”

The project began when volunteer firefighter and South Sioux City Middle School health teacher Tammy Cahill-Lane came across the image of a firefighter kneeling in front of an axe with an American flag billowing in the background. The image stuck out to her, and she asked Blom if she could replicate it on a wall in the fire station.

“I love doing this kind of stuff,” said Blom, whose uncle, Ralph Stephan, was a South Sioux City firefighter. “I was happy to do it.”

The mural, which is approximately eight feet tall by four feet wide, will also feature the numbers of Dakota City's three recently fallen firefighters: Captain Andy Zalme, Captain Eric Speck and firefighter Lowell Satterwhite.

It's currently a work-in-progress, and Blom anticipates it to be completed in about a month.

“It's fun to see the creation at the beginning and then at the end,” she said. “It's fun, and I hope it inspires people.”