Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, members of City Council, Fire Chief Karen Brack, and other fire department officials broke ground for the city’s new Fire Station 9 this morning.

The ceremony was held at the corner of King and Heriot streets.

“What commends this site to the fire department, and to City Council is its central location,” Riley said at the ceremony.

“From here you can get quickly to every part of our city. To West Ashley, Johns Island, James Island, I-526, and we will complete that. Don’t worry, we’re not going to rest until we complete that,” Riley said, referencing the state Department of Transportation’s unanimous decision against taking over completion of the interstate earlier this week.

The 19,600 square-foot facility will house fire trucks, a hazmat unit, and administrative offices for Charleston’s fire chief and staff, city spokeswoman Barbara Vaughn said.

“This is the beginning of what will end up being the largest fire station in the city of Charleston when it’s all done,” Brack said during the ceremony.

The project was designed to meet wind and seismic codes to withstand possible earthquakes, Riley said.

Officials expect construction to be completed toward the end of 2013.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.