The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District announced Monday that the Knightsen Fire Station (Station 94) will remain closed until January 1, 2015. The extended closure will allow the District to complete required maintenance/remediation after mold was found in the station.
On Friday, October 24, the District stated that it was temporarily closing the Knightsen Fire Station due to bacteria in the District’s well, which provides water to the station. The four crews from the Knightsen Fire Station were moved to the downtown Brentwood Fire Station (Station 54), which was previously closed due to budgetary restrictions.
After finding the bacteria in the Knightsen Station’s well, the District undertook additional testing at the fire station. The District learned on Friday, November 7 that there was a higher-than-acceptable level of mold in the air samples taken at the station. The District has completed remediation of the bacteria in the well and added a connection to the local water provider to guard against any future water system contamination. The District will be working over the next several weeks to remediate mold in the heating and air-conditioning system, and will make additional necessary repairs to the restrooms.
According to Chief Hugh Henderson, the District has spent $10,000 to fix the Knightsen Station to date but that he did not have an estimate at this time of what the remaining costs will be prior to the re-opening stating they are still working on the cost.
When asked why the cash strapped District does not re-open Station 54 (downtown Brentwood) permanently versus putting money into Knigthsen’s station, the chief said it was to ensure response times across the District remain lower. He also said it was at no additional cost to the District to re-open Station 54.
The Knightsen Fire Station was built in the early 1960’s and was not originally designed for continuous (24 hours per day, 7 days a week) operations.
“Getting the fire station back in service, and ensuring that the station is safe for our firefighters, are our top priorities,” stated Fire Chief Hugh Henderson. “Only then can our firefighters provide the best service for our communities,” Henderson added.
In the spring of 2008, the Bethel Island fire station was closed and condemned because of mold, lead paint and asbestos. The District brought in a modular trailer for firefighters to live in prior to the closure on July 1, 2012.
ABOUT THE EAST CONTRA COSTA FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT:
The East Contra Costa Fire Protection District spans 249 square miles and our firefighter/EMTs serve more than 100,000 residents in the Cities of Brentwood and Oakley, the Town of Discovery Bay, the communities of Byron, Bethel Island and Knightsen, the Marsh Creek/Morgan Territory area, and all other areas within unincorporated Contra Costa County to the east of Antioch and to the southeast of Clayton.