Firefighters relocated from 3 stations after bed bug infestation

Crews said their move to temporary housing has not affected their ability to respond to calls


By FireRescue1 Staff

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Firefighters from three stations were relocated after multiple reports of bed bug sightings and bites.

The Post and Courier reported that Charleston Fire Department crews were sent to shelters and tents following unsuccessful attempts to exterminate the bugs from the stations.

Battalion Chief Kenneth Jenkins said it's the first time the department has had an issue with bed bugs.

"These bugs don’t carry diseases. The problem with these bugs is they spread rapidly," Jenkins said. "The female bugs apparently can lay up to 200 eggs. They can lay dormant up to eight months without feeding. So the fear of spreading from station to station to station was our main concern."

Officials are not sure where the bugs came from, but they're working to clean linens and clothing.

"The worst-case scenario is someone taking it home to their families," Jenkins said. "We don’t know for sure, but we’re assuming that possibly the employees have them in their bags, in their gear and it’s possibly being re-introduced into the stations."

Crews said their move to temporary housing has not affected their ability to respond to calls.

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