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Fire captain claims Swanzey's Central Fire Station is unsafe

By DAMIEN FISHER
Union Leader Correspondent

October 11. 2018 10:24AM
Swanzey's Central Fire Station located in the basement of the town hall is considered unsafe, and it presents a hazard for town hall staff. (Damien Fisher/Correspondent)



SWANZEY — The town’s Central Fire Station located in the basement of the town hall is in such poor shape that it no longer complies with building life-safety codes, said Fire Capt. Eric Mattson.

“It’s not even safe for us,” he said.

The town is presenting a proposal to the public this week to purchase a property on Route 32 to use for a new fire station to replace the Central Station. Town Administrator Mike Brantley said the current situation with the fire station needs to be addressed.

The space lacks a secondary exit, Mattson said, meaning it is considered unsafe if it ever catches fire. Then there’s the problem of the exhaust, Mattson said. The diesel engine on the fire trucks leak exhaust up into the town hall building where town staff works.

“Given the age of the building, its got more cracks and crevices than we could ever seal,” he said.

Brantley said staff members sometimes have to go home after becoming sick from the exhaust fumes. That’s a situation that should not continue, he said. “Exhaust is a known carcinogen,” Brantley said.

The proposal is to purchase the 4-acre property on Route 32 and put the fire station there. The cost of the purchase is $125,000. There’s no firm design plan in place or estimated total cost yet for the project. There is an existing building on the property that could be renovated into becoming the station.

The Central Station is one of three in Swanzey. Mattson said Swanzey consists of five separate villages and the fire department covers 45 square miles.

“Geographically, it’s the same size as Keene,” he said.


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