The return of fire station personnel to the Catonsville Fire station on Frederick Road, expected on March 14, has been pushed back “by several days” due to ongoing repairs to remediate a maintenance issue that caused a “petroleum-like substance” leaking into the basement, the Baltimore County Fire Department said Monday.
Between 40 and 60 crew members and four apparatuses are scheduled to return to the station by the end of the week, according to a news release.
Fire Chief Joanne Rund authorized the relocation of personnel and vehicles to nearby stations the evening of March 5 after employees noticed stains on the concrete and the smell of gas.
Baltimore County Property Management and the Maryland Department of the Environment, which is overseeing cleanup efforts and investigating the source of the leak since it was reported, said last week the mitigation had been successful and advised department personnel to return to the Catonsville station “barring unforeseen complications to the repair and remediation process,” according to a release.
Repairs are taking longer than expected, a Monday release stated.
The source of the leak is still being investigated by Maryland Department of the Environment, fire department spokeswoman Elise Armacost said Friday. Per state requirements, monitoring will continue on a regular basis for the foreseeable future, with results submitted to the Department of the Environment.
“Several days ago, station personnel noticed staining of the concrete in the basement of the station,” fire officials said March 6.
Investigators cut through the floor of a mechanical room in the basement of the station and found an “unidentified, petroleum-like substance” that was coming up through the floor, officials said. After an odor of gas was detected, units confirmed the odor but meters did not detect unsafe conditions.
The contaminated material has been removed from beneath the station, and the petroleum-like substance staining the floor was also removed, Armacost said. The building was ventilated and air scrubbers were put in place as a precautionary measure.
Two fire engines, a brush unit, a medic unit and all station personnel were relocated to nearby stations and were operating as normal last week, fire officials said. One of the engines was relocated to the Halethorpe station, while the other engine and the medic unit were moved to the Westview station, Armacost said.