City of Marion spends thousands to remove asbestos found inside fire station

City of Marion spends thousands to remove asbestos found inside fire station (WPDE)

The City of Marion has spent more than $30,000 to remove asbestos found inside a recreation room at the fire department on Bond Street in Marion, according to Marion City Administrator Alan Ammons.

Ammons said the asbestos was found late last year during an inspection by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

He said the asbestos has been there for a long time, but wasn't discovered until floor tiles were pulled up following all the flooding from Hurricane Matthew back in October.

DHEC Public Information Officer Robert Yanity said they requested the recreation room, as well as adjacent rooms, be closed and a contractor hired to identify what contamination may exist.

"The fire department hired a contractor who cleaned the area and performed air sampling of the rooms and ventilation system. Those samples indicated the areas were clear and ready for re-occupancy," said Yanity.

Ammons released the following statement on behalf of the City of Marion:

"The City of Marion is aware of concerns about the presence of asbestos in a portion of the fire department damaged by Hurricane Matthew. The City is committed to the health and safety of our employees and citizens. The City has been in continuous contact with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) since the discovery of the damaged area in the fall of 2016, and believes that it has complied with the regulatory requirements and instructions from DHEC employees relating to asbestos detection and removed. As this matter involves the legal interests of the City, there will be no further statement at this time."

Some residents said they're glad the city didn't waste any time handling the matter. They feared what could have happened if the city dragged its feet.

"I think it could be bad. Probably lead to worse damage. Not only for the building, but for the public," said Bryan Rogers.

"It could have spread. Could have made a whole lot of people sick. For no reason at all. It could have even killed a lot of people that come and go. And that was working in there for all these years. I mean, the fear. Some of the people there may still have potential problems," said James Burroughs.

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