Hampton Fire and Rescue’s Fire Station 7 located in the Fox Hill neighborhood has been evacuated and closed after city officials said they confirmed asbestos in the building Thursday.
Fred Gaskins, a spokesman for the city, said workers uncovered old floor tiles containing asbestos resulting in firefighters being removed from the building while air quality was tested.
“There was no asbestos in the air,” Gaskins said Monday. “The issue now is making sure that they get all of the materials out that might contain asbestos.”
Gaskins said he couldn’t be sure of the last time the carpet had been replaced in Station 7, which was constructed in 1967, nor how long the asbestos had been there as the contaminated tiles covered by carpet and other flooring materials wouldn’t have been revealed during past annual building inspections.
“You’d wind up testing every building for everything and that’s just not something we do,” he said.
An official timeline for asbestos removal has not been determined but Gaskins said city officials are expecting the station to remain closed for up to a week. Until then, firefighters from Station 7 are being housed at stations 4 and 5 without interruption to call response.
“We know that people might be concerned about Fire Station 7 being closed but the firefighters from that station are at work on the job and we don’t think that this poses any sort of a risk to the community at large, the community is still going to be served by the fire department,” Gaskins said.