The Alachua County Fire Rescue Station 19 on Southwest 43rd Street and Southwest 20th Avenue has been closed because of a mold outbreak.
No one is allowed inside the building while professionals remove the mold. While this station is closed, the Gainesville Fire Department is assisting the territory Station 19 would normally cover by sending out one of its fire trucks and rescue teams.
The firefighters are staying at the Homewood Suites, eight to 10 blocks from the Alachua County Fire Rescue station, where the fire truck is parked outside of the closed building.
They’re taking these measures in order to prevent time loss from driving from the Gainesville Fire Station on Northeast 13th Street to the areas in which Station 19 would normally cover. The relocation was also put in place so the office employees will have somewhere to continue their computer work while Station 19 is being cleaned out.
“In that area, they’re doing their territory, they’re doing building preplans, and responding to emergency and non-emergency calls,” said fire Chief Ed Bailey of Alachua County Fire Rescue.
Fire personnel are actively working to keep things functioning as if Station 19 was open.
“We are a 24-hour, 7-day a week operation, so when we say we’ve been relocated that just means they’re in their assigned areas instead of their normal homebase of Station 19,” Bailey said.
The Alachua County Fire Rescue station is expected to reopen in two to three days after the mold has been completely removed from the building.
Once the mold is removed, firefighters and associates will move back into the building while it’s being repaired. The repairs will take another two weeks, Bailey said.