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Mold problem temporarily closes Twelve Bridges fire station

By: Liz Kellar The News Messenger
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The Twelve Bridges fire station doors have been closed for weeks now – but the situation is temporary, said Lincoln Fire Chief Dave Whitt. The station was closed after mold was discovered in several locations. According to Whitt, the fire station, which opened in 2001, has had some minor mold issues related to moisture in the past. But in June, firefighters prepping the building for painting discovered several new spots of mold when they removed baseboards, some as big as a quarter. “I didn’t want to cut out the spots, bleach them and call it good,” Whitt said. “That station will be here longer than I will be – it’s a 50-year facility.” Instead, the fire department chose to move out the resident firefighters and get to the bottom of the problem. Whitt said that although the building has tested positive for mold, air sampling inside came back within normal limits. An industrial hygienist has examined the building and made some recommendations; the facility is currently undergoing evaluation to determine the cause of the mold. “We’re moving forward to develop a plan to mitigate the mold and make sure it doesn’t come back,” Whitt said. “We’re not sure what that entails,” he continued. “We truly don’t know what our course of action will be.” Whitt said he hopes to have a plan in place within the next few weeks. Possible courses of action could include improving the drainage around the building and removing any standing water below the building pad, he said. “We’re still in the testing and information-gathering stage,” Whitt said. The fire department also is exploring bringing staff back to the building in some capacity, possibly housing them in portable structures. Whitt said the department is actively working to ensure there are no response time issues for residents of Lincoln who are served by the fire station – the south end of Sun City Lincoln Hills, Twelve Bridges and parts of Catta Verdera.