Renovations at a Chicago-area firehouse resulted in the exposure of dangerous asbestos, so testing is currently underway to be sure that levels of the toxic fibers inside the station are acceptable, reports an article in The Southtown Star.
According to the article, work was being done on a water-damaged wall on the north side of the Homewood Fire Station two weeks ago when Rickoff Remodeling uncovered some of the dangerous material.
“The asbestos was removed immediately by Countryside-based RCM, and air samplings and other tests are being conducted by the company to determine asbestos levels in the building,” the article says.
Early testing showed one room on the north side of the building to be above the threshold of allowable asbestos levels, added Mark Franz, village manager for Homewood.
In the meantime, Illinois Department of Public Health officials have inspected the building and demanded that a wider portion of the facility, including a section that houses four administration offices, be off limits to fire personnel and others while testing and removal is done.
“On Tuesday, the (health department) recommended a more aggressive test be done and we’re taking their advice,” Franz said. The remainder of the firehouse, built in 1967, will be open during testing.
“A lot of buildings that age have asbestos,” Franz stressed.
“It was just a small amount (of asbestos) discovered,” he added. “Unless a major problem is discovered through testing, we don’t anticipate closing down any other part of the building. But if there is more asbestos found than expected, we’ll do whatever cleaning is necessary to make the building safe.”