Troubled Fort Bragg fire station needs repairs, congressman says

Damage to a ceiling at the fire station.

(Fort Bragg Public Affairs)

Military firefighters stationed at Fort Bragg, N. C., works at a fire station, the Public Affairs Officer Thomas McCollum says exhibits poor working conditions. Now the state congressman is doing something about it.

Firefighter Michael Griddine wrote a letter to the USA. Rep. Richard Hudson in January describing the repairs needed for the Fire Station #7. The letter shown rodents and vermin problems, a roof that is leaking in the whole building, carpets, a mildew smell, and the presumption of structural problems.

“We are looking for answers on the whereabouts of the funds that were reserved for the construction of a new fire station,” Griddine wrote. “We also request a complete hazard/assessment of the suitability of the facility for structural integrity by a qualified 3rd party who is not connected with the Army or the Fort Bragg installation.”

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McCollum, says the final approval necessary by the Congress for all military construction, which more than a million dollars.

“Our routing for the problems that are presented to Congress by the U.S. Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM), US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Installation Management (ACSIM),” McCollum said in an e-mail to Fox News. “We have notified all three commands several times of the problems with the fire station #7.”

McCollum explained that after taking charge of the military base in 2010 – it was Pope Air Force base originally, they immediately had problems with the building and doing repairs since.

“Because the financial YEAR (financial year) 15 we (the Directorate of Public Works) have spent more than $1.2 M in repairs….This includes weather proofing, roof repairs, electrical repairs, plumbing and design for new construction,” McCollum said.

An OSHA complaint was filed last summer and another complaint on Feb. 2017 resulted in an inspection, according to Michael D’Aquino of the U.S. Labor Department’s Public Affairs office in Atlanta.

“In addition to that, I understand, two inspections were handled by the Army, Garrison Safety Office,” Aquino said.

However, it was Griddine the letter got results. Congressman Hudson asked the Army to start an investigation after reading the terms and conditions of the service members had to work in.

In an e-mail to Fox News Congressman Hudson wrote, “The working conditions described to me are unacceptable and reflect the underlying problem of the deep defense cuts under the Obama administration,” Hudson wrote. “I will join with my colleagues in Congress and the Army to find a long-term solution for this problem.”

McCollum said during a phone interview with Fox that the repair will cost more than five million dollars for the fire station. But this is only a problem of many that Fort Bragg is dealing with. In the same conversation, he indicated that many of the buildings around the base are in urgent need of repairs.

“Because the YEAR 2013, Fort Bragg is more than $312M short-term funding for SRM (Stamina, Recovery and Modernization) projects. For Fire Station #7, on average, we have already more than $413 METRES,” McCollum said.

Even the building McCollum works in the daily was deemed unhealthy and unsafe by the Installation Safety Office. An evacuation of the building started late last week.

“The hot water pipes with a temperature of at least 200 degrees has been ruptured and leaked in the whole building,” McCollum said. “We have also offices which have been evacuated as a result of the sewer break.”

Terrace Garnier is a Fox News multimedia reporter based in Columbia, South Carolina. Follow her on twitter: @TeraceGarnier

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