By William Tauro
The firehouse that’s located at 265 Highland Avenue in Somerville, better known as the home to Engine 7 and Somerville District Chief has been deemed temporarily condemned and currently does not house any fire engines.
According to sources at the fire department, that building’s floor is not capable of housing a fire engine due to the fear of the building’s floor collapsing from concrete degradation possibly contributed by years of non-maintenance and abuse.
Concrete degradation may have various causes. Concrete can be damaged by fire, aggregate expansion, sea water effects, bacterial corrosion, calcium leaching, physical damage and chemical damage (from carbonatation, chlorides, sulfates and distilled water). This process adversely affects concrete exposed to these damaging stimuli.
The building was found to be plagued with and contain high levels of black mold.
Black mold aka known its scientific name as Stachybotrys or Phylum: Ascomycota is a genus of molds, hyphomycetes or asexually reproducing, filamentous fungi. Historically, it was considered closely related to the genus Memnoniella, because the spores are produced in slimy heads rather than in dry chains.
This particular mold likes to grow in damp places, and is most commonly found in areas where condensation has collected or where there’s been water damage and definitely not a place where we want our firefighters to be sleeping while breathing in this toxic particles in the air.
In the event of a fire in that area, engines will have to come from the main fire station that’s located on Winter Hill on Broadway or from fire houses located in Teele Square or from other neighboring cities or towns reducing vital lifesaving response time tremendously placing the city and its residents in harms way.
Maybe rather than concentrating on spending close to a half $1 million on Christmas wreaths or the site preparation for construction on the new Somerville High School building project underway, gradual changes to parking options on the Central Hill Campus and as one of our readers posted (Bike, walk use public transportation, problem solved!), or closing down off ramps to destroy local businesses the city should focus more on maintaining the fire houses and keeping residents safe.
Let us know what you think!