San Jose

San Jose Fire Station Shuts Down Due to Mold

The San Jose Fire Department has closed a fire station in East San Jose amid worries about mold contamination, although a test done at the station found no evidence of airborne mold, a department spokesman said Tuesday.

Personnel and firefighting vehicles at Fire Station 16 at 2001 S. King Road at Cunningham Avenue were moved to nearby stations 18 and 24 so Santa Clara County health authorities can inspect the station, fire Capt. Mitch Matlow said.

The Fire Department has no documented evidence of mold in the station, but closed it based on the potential health hazard if mold were located there, Matlow said.

So far, tests have detected no mold in the air inside the station and the department is still trying to confirm whether mold is present inside the structure, Matlow said.

The department had slated the station for remodeling prior to the reported discovery of mold there, he said.

Meanwhile, firefighters are concerned over health and safety at the station and how the closure will impact their jobs.

"We're very concerned about two things -- the health and safety of the firefighters living at that station and then overall the way this is going to impact our (response) times," said Capt. Jose Guerrero, a union spokesman.

Mold grows when a combination of moisture and organic material is present, such as damp areas inside houses, and people exposed to high volumes of its airborne spores may develop allergies, respiratory problems, congestion and other symptoms, according to state health officials.

NBC Bay Area's Robert Handa contributed to this report.

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