After briefly accepting a job in California, Northwest Fire and Rescue District Chief Jeff Piechura has decided to stay put.

Piechura has been the chief of the Northwest Fire and Rescue District for 20 years.

Last week, the chief announced that he would leave at month’s end to take the top job with the Chula Vista Fire Department.

“It would have been a tremendous challenge with great rewards,” Piechura said of the job in Chula Vista.

But the troubled economy and difficult housing market caused Piechura to rethink the move, he said.

The chief said he reached that decision after conferring with friends in the housing and lending industries who told him he likely would have trouble securing financing for a new house while trying to sell his home in Tucson.

Piechura also said the move would not have been in the best interest of his family.

Piechura joined Northwest Fire at its inception in 1984, becoming chief fours years later.

During his 24 years there, the district has grown from three stations serving 35,000 residents to nine, serving 120,000 residents.

Three additional Northwest stations are planned for the next five years.

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