Firefighters relocated due to mold and no air conditioning

The firefighters have been moved to their training facility.

Posted: Sep 20, 2018 3:26 PM
Updated: Sep 20, 2018 3:33 PM

Firefighters in Florence have now been moved out of Station 5 where mold was found in the ductwork and the air conditioning unit is broken.

Florence fire officials tell us the firefighters have been moved to their training facility on Chisholm Road within Station 5's district while the ductwork is removed and the new air conditioning unit installed.

The air conditioning unit went out last Friday, and Florence fire administrators say the lieutenants on staff told them everything was fine. Fire officials tell me they overrode that decision today and moved them to the training facility for their safety.

Florence Deputy Fire Chief, Tim Anerton, tells us he has concerns about the repairs.

"Most of the ceiling tiles have to be taken down. That's the point where I'm not comfortable," Anerton said. "Just as a safety and a backup, I made that decision and said okay we are moving, and that's where we are."

Anerton said there will be no lack in response time despite the move.

"There should not be any difference as far as initiating the response. We have another station in District 3 that will be supporting them. Yes, geographically they are not ideal," Anerton said.

Some people in Florence said the firefighters shouldn't have spent almost a week with no air conditioning.

"They shouldn't have to be like that," said Brianna Roadlander.

It's going to cost about $17,000 to replace the ductwork and cover the cost of the new air conditioning unit. Anerton said the safety of his firefighters is the top priority, and they are working around the clock to get this issue resolved.

"What I want to be sure to communicate is that these guys out here are my number one priority and their safety and well being," Anerton said.

According to fire officials, the company working on the ductwork told them the mold they found was not living, and they have no indications that mold is anywhere else in the building.

It is still unclear if they plan to have the mold found in the ductwork tested. 

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