Black mold concern forcing some Dearborn firefighters to rest in running rigs

Health concerns forced some Dearborn firefighters out of their fire station overnight. 

Union members told FOX 2 that Station Five in Melvindale on Oakwood Street has a black mold problem. It was apparently caused by flooding inside the station two weeks ago.

The firefighters say they can't stay inside the station so, for now, they're sleeping inside their running trucks outside the building at the Melvindale Community Center. 

Jeffrey Lentz, the Dearborn Firefighters Union President, told us he's happy the fire chief - who's currently out of town - decided to shut down the station for the time being, but that he doesn't agree with where firefighters were put. 

"Our firefighters understand with our profession, with working 24 hour shifts, that there will be times when we are tired and we are exhausted and sleep deprived because of the 911 calls that come in and the citizens we serve," he said. "But at the same time, we should be rested and able to perform those duties and we should not be forced to be staying up for an entire 24-hour shift and then expected to be able to make life and death decisions in a split second."

Test results for the mold are expected sometime later on Thursday. 

If the environmental testing determines that remediation is required and cannot be completed by late Thursday night, accommodations will be made for the firefighters to sleep inside the Melvindale Recreation Center, Dearborn Fire Chief Joseph Murray said.

The City of Dearborn says the mold was discovered when a piece of dry wall was removed on Jan. 22. The dry wall removal was part of final repairs undertaken by the City of Melvindale following a sewer backup at the station on Jan. 9. 

It is thought that the mold is most likely due to a previously unknown leak from the station’s laundry system and is unrelated to the sewage backup.