Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Moldy firehouse led to early retirement of two firefighters

January 22, 2010

ORLANDO, FLOrlando officials say the city does not have the money to replace a fire station with mold problems so severe it has led to the early retirement of two firefighters, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

According to the story, firefighter Collette Bates was granted a $54,000 annual disability retirement after the pension board concluded her respiratory problems were caused by poor air quality at Fire Station 9, where she worked for the last year of her seven years with the Orlando Fire Department.

Bates'' attorney Mike Clelland said: "It became so bad she couldn''t do her job anymore. All the doctors said her condition was such that she could not continue as a firefighter. That building put her out of a job."

Problems with mold in the building were first noted in 2000, but the city says they don''t have the money to replace the 37 year old building without a $4 million federal grant — to which they''ve applied, the story stated.

In 2002, Suzie Paxton, the first woman in department history to attain lieutenant rank, was awarded a disability pension after Station 9 contributed to her pulmonary problems, the story added.

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