PLYMOUTH, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Plymouth Firefighters are usually the ones doing the evacuating.
Now, they've been evacuated—twice in the span of one month, from two different firehouses, due to structural issues.
First, on Columbus Day, debris fell into the top floor and littered the firefighters' living quarters at the department's headquarters on Sandwich Street. Work was being done on the roof at the time, and something went wrong. Firefighters are now housed in a trailer outside.
Then this week, firefighters working their 24-hour shifts at the North Plymouth fire station on Spooner Street had to get out when the floor started to collapse—rusted-out rebar and rotted out concrete couldn't support the department's trucks.
Plymouth Deputy Fire Chief Neil Foley explained to WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal the floor is giving way. The town says it needs to be reinforced.
"You can see where a large chunk of concrete has broken away," Foley said.
The cracks in the floor are where Engine 7 rested. Engine 7 is currently being housed in Kingston.
Plymouth Fire Union President Brian Baragwanath wants the stations fixed.
"I expect that these buildings would be just as livable as my home," he said.
The Spooner Street station is being replaced at a cost of $8 million, and the town has reportedly hired an engineer to shore up the floor until the new firehouse is finished.
Town manager Marissa Arrighi said she takes responsibility. She said that, in addition to the new Spooner Street station, she plans to ask Town Meeting for a new, renovated headquarters and other repairs.
Until then, Foley said the disruption caused by the closures could compromise safety.
"You know, this station is here for a reason," Foley said. "It's covering an area for a reason, so it will extend some of our response times."
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports