Posted: 6:08 p.m. Friday, March 7, 2014

Treasure Island fire station closed by mold issues

closed Treasure Island fire station
closed Treasure Island fire station

By John Sasaki


Firefighters moved out of San Francisco Fire Station 48 on Treasure Island Friday to get away from a serious mold problem.

"We're closing Station 48 on Treasure Island and we're moving roughly 4 blocks away," said Assistant Deputy Fire Chief Ken Lombardi.

Mold has taken hold and put crews who live there at risk.

"We got a construction report that we got some mold in the building, and so they don't know what the extent is until they go in and open up the walls," Lombardi explained. "But they recommend not having people here while they are doing that construction."

Where firefighters and the department differ is how long this has been a problem. Department officials said action was taken quickly.

"We called in a mold consultant, they came in and we finally got the report yesterday. So, the department acted immediately. It's been less than 24 hours since we got the actual report," emphasized Lombardi.

Through the firefighters union, KTVU learned that some members have been complaining about mold for years.

"Over the years, there have been statements and comments, and call them rumors if you want to for that matter. There have been mold issues in that building," said Union Secretary Floyd Rollins II.

The department would not let KTVU see the damage, but reporter John Sasaki obtained photos taken by firefighters that show the problem, including mold under a sink and in some carpet.

"Maintenance has been deferred for a number of years. And I guess the best way to categorize it is that the maintenance bill is coming due, and it's pretty large," said Rollins.

Firefighters said the conditions have caused them such health issues as nausea, short-term memory loss, even signs of early menopause. But Assistant Deputy Fire Chief Lombardi told KTVU he has heard of no health problems.

"To my knowledge, no one here has gone off on any of those injuries from here," said Lombardi.

Rollins noted that firefighters take enough risks on the job without having to be concerned about the stations they operate out of.

"The working conditions in facilities in which our members work are paramount and extremely important. Especially with the recent spike in cancer cases," said Union Secretary Rollins.

Station 48 will operate out of a nearby training facility for the time being. How long will depend on how extensive the mold damage at the station turns out to be.

More News

Featured Articles Weather Outlook

Monday's weather forecast

Monday Weather Forecast: Foggy morning

Look for another round of low clouds and fog Monday morning. The clouds will gradually clear back to near the shoreline, revealing partly to mostly sunny skies.

Monday on KTVU News at 5

2 Investigates: Cell phone surveillance

It looks like a regular cell tower but 2 Investigates uncovers how Bay Area Police are using a program to access cell phone data that was part of a secret program.

KTVU on Twitter

2 Investigates

2 Investigates: Fraction of local domestic violence cases investigated lead to charges

Bay Area law enforcement agencies investigated thousands of cases of suspected domestic violence in 2013, but in some places, KTVU found only about a third of those investigations led to criminal charges.

The Daily Mix

Photog and songwriter Graham Nash showcased at popular Napa winery

Over 50 photographs by legendary singer-songwriter Graham Nash are on display in a new exhibition at the Fine Art Photography Gallery at Mumm Napa in Rutherford.