HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Black mold was recently discovered at a Murrells Inlet Garden City Fire Station, leading to its immediate shutdown, according to assistant fire chief J.R. Haney.
When in operation, Station No. 2 in Garden City houses three firefighters and two EMS workers. For the time being, crews have been relocated to Station No. 1 in Murrells Inlet, about 2.5 miles away.
The department is working with a local mold remediation company to remove the mold and anything else harmful to workers at Station No. 2.
Some residents have raised concerns about response times becoming longer with the relocation, but Haney believes this will have no impact on response times.
"It's certainly an inconvenience for us, but with our main headquarters station being 2.5 miles down the road, response time shouldn't be affected that great at all," he said. "We should still be able to get people in a short amount of time and they should see no reduction in public safety services."
Fire crews are now waiting on an estimate and a timeline as to how long it will take before crews can return. They are hoping to have some type of time frame by Monday of next week.
This situation is a first for the station, and fire officials are taking the proper steps to protect their workers and educate themselves on ways to prevent future mold issues.
"We are already modifying some of our cleaning habits and educate personnel on what to look for so we can get notification much more timely," Haney said.