MILTON, Ga. — Fire Station 41 on Arnold Mill Road has been temporarily shut down as the City of Milton works to remedy a “mold situation.”
The city said the station closed after an air quality assessment found high levels of black mold spores in its bunk room as well as elevated levels in its common areas. The results came back shortly after some firefighters reported mild allergy-like symptoms.
Milton Communications Director Greg Botelho said none of the symptoms were major or long-lasting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that molds are very common in buildings and homes and often grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, pipes or where there has been flooding.
The CDC also states exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects or none at all. People may experience a stuffy nose, wheezing, and red or itchy eyes. Others, such as those with allergies to molds or with asthma, may have more intense reactions including fever and shortness of breath.
As of Nov. 18, the city was still working to identify the cause of the mold issues and determine how to best address them. It said additional tests were conducted Nov. 17 to pinpoint the moisture source. Milton Fire Chief Gabriel Benmoussa said the city is awaiting the final report.
“But most likely the source is the HVAC system,” Benmoussa said.
Four firefighters and one engine are currently being housed at Roswell Fire Station 6 at 825 Cox Road. The city is hoping to reopen Milton Fire Station 41 in the next couple of weeks. In addition to responding to fires, the fire station typically responds to medical emergencies, motor vehicle accidents, rescue calls and incidents involving hazardous materials.
Benmoussa said he will know more about when the fire station can reopen next week.
“Even though we have relocated 1.4 miles away, we are still responding and providing emergency services to our community,” Benmoussa said. “We are grateful to our Roswell neighbors and Fire Chief Pennino for the partnership and accommodations.”
Residents can contact the Milton Fire Department by calling 911 in an emergency or 678-297-6300 in a non-emergency. To share or obtain general information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.