published Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Chattanooga fire station closed for a month due to mold

  • photo
    Boyd Buhl of Servpro, in the white shirt, talks with firefighters at the No. 8 Fire Hall on Hickory Valley Road on Wednesday morning. Chattanooga firefighters have been temporarily relocated after mold was discovered in the building.
    Photo by Photo: Bruce Garner

It could be a month before 15 Chattanooga firefighters are able to go back to Fire Station 8 after mold was found throughout their building on Hickory Valley Road.

An outside company tested several areas of the station near Lee Highway and found mold in several places, including the dayroom and downstairs portion of the fire station. The city will have to pay an estimated $25,000 for mold removal, Chattanooga Fire Deputy Chief Randy Jacks said Wednesday.

"[The cost] could go beyond that, depending on what they find," Jacks said. "We're going to go with the company that can give us the best price."

Jeff Cuthbertson, franchise owner of Servpro, which focuses on cleanup, said the mold would have to be physically removed by containing the areas that crews are working in and negatively pressurizing the areas to prevent cross contamination. Servpro is one of the companies being considered by the city.

Crews would use special HEPA filter vacuums designed for mold remediation, he said.

The administration first became aware of the problem after receiving emails from firefighters assigned to the fire station. Jacks said he has not been notified of any complaints of health issues as a result of the mold.

Fire Station 8 firefighters have been temporarily assigned to Station 6 on Bonny Oaks Drive.

"We're still going to be able to respond in a timely manner," Jacks said. "We've still got coverage in that area. Response times will still be up to standard. We'll do whatever we need to do."

Contact staff writer Beth Burger at bburger@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6406.

Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/abburger.

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