New Fort Lauderdale fire station dealing with ongoing mold issues

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Fort Lauderdale’s Fire Station 54 was completed in Sept. 2018 at a price of $5.9 million. Firefighters moved in months later in Feb. 2019, but found themselves dealing with an issue.

“I got hold of the fire department and they told me there was mold in the building,” said Rob Freeman, a neighbor.

Freeman lives in the condos nearby and told Local 10 News’ Hatzel Vela, he can’t believe this is still an ongoing issue.

Fort Lauderdale Public Works Director Alan Dodd updated the commission in Nov. 2022. Soon after the building opened, they started having issues with condensation, which led to mold. In Dec. 2021, the city relocated the staff to a nearby temporary fire station, after determining the entire air conditioning system had to be replaced at a cost of $900,000.

“With Fire station 54, the HVAC systems have been having issues for a few years now,” said Dodd.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said it was concerning and it was a significant cost to the taxpayer.

“The substantial completion was in Sept. of 2018 and now you’re looking at maybe getting back into five years later. You know that is horrific,” said Trantalis.

Freeman was more concerned about the lingering costs.

“Give me what I’m paying for. You know don’t hose me and tell me the fire station will be fine cause it’s not going to be fine until they go in there. They’ll probably end up tearing the thing down before it’s over,” said Freeman.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.