Seattle authorities have moved firefighters out of a Northgate fire station where worries have long been raisedabout unhealthy conditions and links to illnesses such as cancer.
Mayor Jenny Durkan and Fire Chief Harold Scoggins made the relocation decision this week, citing initial results from environmental testing recently undertaken at Station 31 by the Seattle firefighters union, Local 27. Crosscut first reported the action.
Though the city has tested Station 31 in the past and cleared the building for use, firefighters have repeatedly expressed concerns about the conditions and referred to the structure as “Cancer House.” Many firefighters who have worked at Station 31 have been diagnosed with cancer, so Local 27 president Kenny Stuart decided to take another look at the building.
“We’d been taking the city’s word for it,” Stuart said, mentioning problems with toxins at fire stations in Tumwater and San Francisco. “But I wanted to do my own testing.”
The initial results from Local 27’s testing indicate there may be mycotoxins, a byproduct of some molds, in some parts of the building, the mayor’s office and Fire Department said in a statement.
The statement described Wednesday’s move as a temporary, precautionary measure while more testing is done.