Pensacola city officials said Friday that the city’s Fire Station 6, located on Summit Boulevard, would close for a two-week period to undergo cleaning and mold remediation.
The closure was scheduled to take place Monday, but interim fire chief David Allen said that he chose to close it three days early after a fire captain manning Station 3 reported sinus and breathing issues. Allen said the captain was examined by both the city clinic and his personal doctor and was cleared to work.
The station, built in 1969, is the city’s oldest still in service. City officials have been aware of mold at the station since at least 2011, when Mayor Ashton Hayward’s office commissioned a study of the building. That study uncovered water intrusion, mold, and structural issues with the station, but Hayward chose not to address the issues at the time, saying earlier this year that fixing the station “wasn’t at the top of the list” of priorities.
In January, after City Councilwoman Sherri Myers placed the issue on the city council’s agenda, Hayward asked council members to allocate $3 million to replace the station. The mayor’s office has said that construction on a new station should start by early 2017.
Station 3’s crews and equipment will temporarily operate out of Station 6, about two and a half miles away on 9th Avenue. Officials said Friday that the move was expected to have a “minimal impact” on emergency response times.