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Ohio firefighters forced to leave station due to unlivable conditions

Niles Fire Department firefighters are temporarily staying at a nearby senior center after crews nicknamed their living quarters “the swamp”

By FireRescue1 Staff

NILES, Ohio — A fire station was deemed unlivable and firefighters were forced to temporarily locate to a senior center due to a falling roof.

WKBN reported that the Niles Fire Department station currently has tarp hanging from the ceiling to collect the rust and roof pieces that have been falling on the firefighters, who are currently staying at the Scope Senior Center while workers repair the roof.

“Underneath carpeting, you got padding absorbing moisture, which, in turn, could be mold,” Capt. Bryan Lowrie said. “Rust coming down the walls.”

Firefighters have also nicknamed their living quarters “the swamp,” because dirty water is collected by buckets on the floor.

“Rusty water looks like iced tea,” Capt. Lowrie added. “These living conditions have been deplorable for years and they’re only getting worse. Now it’s to the point where we can’t even stay in it.”

Firefighters said the conditions aren’t just inconvenient for them; they affect the community as well.

“We’re across the street so therefore, when a call comes in, it could possibly take us an extra 30 seconds to get across the street, get in the trucks — and you’re talking a call at three in the morning.”

Workers are currently fixing the roof, a project that has been underway for months.

“I think part of the issue is that the roof was in that bad of condition that even when they’re walking on the roof, parts of it are deteriorating. The old parts even more,” service director Ed Stredney said.

Stredney added that he expects the work to be completed by the end of the week, but firefighters said the current living conditions require a lot more work.

“It’s going to be very difficult for human beings to live in these types of conditions,” Capt. Lowrie said. “Whether the roof is fixed or not, the damage is already done.”


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