Alachua County Fire Station Battles Mold
GAINESVILLE-- Gainesville Fire Rescue's newest station is in the Homewood Suites Hotel.
GFR moved in to cover an edge of town usually covered by Alachua County firefighters-- who had to temporarily abandon their regular firehouse.
Fire Station 19 has been empty since Monday morning because of mold. Neighbors are worried about emergency response times.
"I'm kinda worried about the residents here. If something were to happen who would respond to that?" said Canopy Apartments Employee, Sean Gommier.
Sean Gommier works in Canopy Apartments across from Alachua County Fire Station 19-- that’s at the corner of Southwest 20th Avenue and 43rd Street.
More than 700 students live at the complex.
"Would they be able to respond in time? It's something that I’m looking at," said Gommier.
"So time is a concern for you?"
"Absolutely, with fire something can burn up in minutes."
With the nearest fire station temporarily "out of service," some neighbors are concerned with their safety.
However, Gainesville Fire Rescue has booked a hotel room at the Homewood Suites Hotel near I-75.
From there, they are covering the area of the city the county fire rescue would normally respond to.
"We found out that they were moving the unit to the area when I got a call from one of the district chief said their engine was parked in the driveway of the station," said Deputy Chief for Alachua County Fire Rescue, Bill Northcutt.
Alachua County firefighters say they had no idea GFR had decided to patrol the area.
"It was kinda confusing to me that they would abandon their station with that fire resource and move it out into the area that’s near Archer Road and I-75… not sure what the thought process is there quite frankly…," said Northcutt.
The question is... "What got lost in translation?"
"It's a little disconcerting to think that the communication again as we said earlier didn't come back the other way. You know, with decisions we find out at the street level. I hate to say it, it's just an antagonistic tactic, but it almost seems that way."
Gainesville Fire Rescue declined an on camera comment-- directing us to the city.
Spokesman for the city of Gainesville, Bob Woods, did not return calls.
As of today Fire Station 19 no longer has any mold and the firefighters and truck are expected to return this Friday.
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