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Gross Looking Mold Removed from Fire Station

The Lowell Sun
January 22, 2007

Massachusetts – Firefighters have moved back into the fire station after an extensive mold-removal operation forced them to take shelter in a trailer.

During the mold removal process, workers found significantly more mold in the firefighters’ living quarters than was originally anticipated. The discovery of the extra mold illustrates how pertinent it was to do the removal, said Fire Chief Michael Walker.

“When they tore down the bathroom wall, they found that the mold growth extended from the kitchen to the stove and behind the sink,” said Walker. “It was gross-looking, and the firefighters were sleeping among that stuff.”

At least one firefighter came down with a skin rash that a physician diagnosed as an allergic reaction to mold exposure. The firefighter missed three weeks of work due to the rash, said Walker.

Walker also suspects that respiratory problems several other firefighters complained about before the mold removal were also directly linked to the mold.

Although excess mold was found in the station’s living quarters, less was found in the administrative offices. As a result, the final cost to remove the mold did not stray from the original estimate of $25,000. EnviroVantage, a New Hampshire-based environmental contractor, removed the mold.

The completion of the mold removal comes just as the Fire Department is gearing up for a public-relations blitz hoping to convince voters to support building a new central fire station.

“Hopefully, by next weekend we’ll be going door-to-door, passing out handouts and asking residents for support,” said Walker. “As usual, the fire station is open 24-7. If someone wants to come in and discuss this with us, they’re welcome to come by, ask for the tour, and talk to us about how we arrived at our conclusions.”

About EnviroVantage

EnviroVantage, Inc. is a regional leader in the safe handling and removal of hazardous materials (including lead paint, asbestos, and mold) found at building sites on projects requiring renovation, demolition, or historic reconstruction. EnviroVantage created the standard procedures for lead paint removal and staffs experts on every major contaminant found in buildings. Information about EnviroVantage, including its new training center, can be found at www.envirovantage.com.