Hampton fire station reopens after asbestos contamination

Firefighters from Hampton Fire and Rescue’s Station 7 moved back into the Fox Hill location Friday after recent asbestos contamination.

City officials announced Monday the station had reopened after fire officials confirmed air samples and swipe tests performed throughout the building came back negative.

Contaminated carpet and flooring have been successfully abated in addition to a narrow hallway that became contaminated as workers moved materials out of the building, said Anthony Chittum, battalion chief for the Hampton Fire and Rescue Division.

Chittum said the team is close to being “back to normal” contingent on getting everything moved back into the station.

“They are operating as normal and they expect to have [the station] 100 percent completed in the next two weeks or so,” he said.

At least five firefighters from Station 7 were reassigned to Stations 4 and 5 for about 10 days after workers attempting to replace the carpet uncovered floor tiles containing asbestos in the building.

Personnel assigned to Station 7 were evacuated for immediate testing to be done in the building which ultimately showed, “there was no asbestos in the air,” said Fred Gaskins, a spokesman for the city, in a previous interview.

There was no interruption to fire emergency calls for service during the evacuation.

Station 7 was constructed in 1967 and had undergone its last renovation about seven years ago when they added an additional women’s restroom, Chittum said.

Gaskins also said in the previous interview it’s unclear how long the floor tiles had been contaminated and wouldn’t have been discovered by routine building inspections.

“You’d wind up testing every building for everything and that’s just not something we do,” he said.

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