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Hazardous substances discovered in Huron Park fire station

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The Huron Park fire station has been temporarily closed after a building assessment discovered hazardous substances including asbestos in the building.

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As a result of the discovery, the station at 421 Canada Ave. has been temporarily closed and Huron Park firefighters and equipment have been moved to South Huron’s Exeter and Dashwood stations.

In his report to council at the July 19 meeting, director of fire and community services Jeremy Becker said, “All fire and emergency response levels to Huron Park and surrounding area will remain unaffected during the closure of the station.”

A report from T. Harris Environmental Management, which completed the assessment of the station in May, indicates numerous instances of asbestos insulation on pipes and in floor tiles in various locations in the station, as well as in grey caulking on exterior doors, windows and expansion joints.

The report prioritizes the discoveries and it was recommended that some instances of asbestos-containing materials be removed and/or repaired immediately, while others “can remain in place until major system upgrading, maintenance or demolition which could result in disturbance of this material.” Photos were also included in the report.

In a July 13 posting on its website, the municipality stated, “Having reviewed the report in consultation with the author, the facility will need extensive remediation to ensure the overall safety of fire service members working onsite.”

As previously reported, the municipality is working on a fire services master plan. Coun. Barb Willard asked if the municipality is waiting until after completion of the plan to do anything with the Huron Park station.

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Becker said the plan is progressing well and should be delivered in September. He said fire service levels will not change due to the temporary closure of the Huron Park station.

“At this time we’ll wait for the fire master plan,” the chief said.

Becker also delivered his quarterly report of fire department responses for the period of April 1 to June 30.

In that time period, South Huron’s three fire stations responded to a total of 41 calls, including four structure fires and 11 grass/brush fires. Other responses included four mutual aid calls, three motor vehicle collisions, four smoke alarm calls, two carbon monoxide present calls, one false carbon monoxide call, and more.

Included in the total are two calls in the Municipality of Bluewater to which the Exeter and Dashwood stations responded.

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