Northgate fire station evacuated amid toxic mold concerns

SEATTLE -- The city of Seattle evacuated Fire Station 31 in Northgate after the discovery of toxic mold. Now, crews are working to discover if the mold is harmful to humans.

Officials with the department say they want to get answers as quickly as possible to make sure the firefighters are safe.

Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins said Thursday the fire union provided the city with test results that showed mycotoxin in the station.

"The last thing we wanted is to have our firefighters working in an environment that can cause them harm," Scoggins said.

The city hired two different lab companies to look at the results as well as conduct more tests. According to one of those companies, NVL Labs, current findings show the toxic levels of mold are not enough to harm humans.

However, more tests are being done and more results are expected, so the city says it is being extra cautious.

"The last thing we want is our firefighters to be concerned the environment they are sleeping in and working in is a hazardous space."

All of Station 31's resources have been distributed to four surrounding stations.

"We know there's challenges when we relocated stations... that means there could be a gap or delay in cover, that is very important and we recognize that."

This change just happened Monday. Scoggins says the fire department is looking at response time impacts, but says it is too soon to know exactly how it will impact the community. He says looking at past numbers, it's possible response times could be a minute longer.

It's unclear when firefighters will be able to return to the station.