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Mold forces Chico firefighters from their station

Published On: Dec 24 2013 06:47:59 PM CST   Updated On: Dec 11 2013 11:07:23 PM CST
CHICO, Calif. -

Firefighters are known for their sacrifice.  But due to a mold problem in Fire Station 5, three Chico firefighters will sacrifice some of the comforts of life.

The firefighters will live in a rented trailer while mold is removed.  The mold problem was discovered in 2009.  It was most likely caused by a leaky roof which is also being repaired.

“We'll make due,” said firefighter Chuck Fry.  “Whatever we need to do to make it comfortable enough to keep this area staffed.”

Before repair work started and the men were kicked out of their usual quarters, their leather chairs and big screen TV were carted into their temporary home.  The kitchen is basically a table with a microwave oven on it.

There's a bathroom but no shower.  Showers and writing reports will need to be done off-site. 

These are minor inconveniences compared to what could have been when the city previously considered closing Station 5 due to budget cutbacks.

”We said we would roll our own tents out if we had to,” said firefighter John Kelso.  “But we were not going to let go of this station long-term or short-term.” 

No one noticed the mold it until all city buildings were inspected and the problem was detected. 

”I don't think anybody here has had any problems from the supposed mold problem, said Chuck Fry. “And supposedly it wasn't going to be a problem in there until they opened up the walls to see the severity of the problem.”

The trailer will be the firefighters' home for the holidays.  They'll live there until December 29. Then their station should be cleaned up and ready to go to start the New Year.

The total cost of the mold cleanup is $25,000, paid for by the city.

The trailer costs $400 per month, a cost covered by the fire department.