Station 1 fights boiler

Published 10:53 pm Friday, January 24, 2014

Space heaters and a secondary hot water heater are being used at Fire Station 1 on Market Street after a boiler at the 51-year-old station started experiencing issues late last week, city Chief of Staff Debbie George said.

When the issue arose last week, technicians were called in but were unable to immediately repair the unit. Personnel were temporarily relocated within their response area, she said.

The boiler was repaired, and personnel returned to the building, “but we’ve continued to experience issues with the unit,” she said.

Email newsletter signup

“Multiple room heaters have been brought in while technicians continue to work to correct the problem,” she said. A secondary hot water heater also has been placed in service.

It’s not the first challenge in recent years for the 51-year-old building. Last year, an employee complained of bug bites possibly sustained in the bunk room at the facility. No bugs were found, but the investigation still led to the purchase of new mattresses, box springs and linens for the station.

In 2012, firefighters complained to the state of mold at the station, but because Virginia Occupational Safety and Health has no standard that addresses mold, nothing could be done, Jennifer Wester, director of cooperative programs for Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, said at the time.

But city officials hope a $1.75 million renovation planned for later this year will solve the problems.

The renovation includes a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, George said.