Firefighters and paramedic units temporarily have been cleared out of the Linthicum station because of high levels of carbon monoxide from kerosene space heaters being used to warm the building while its furnace is being repaired.
They were sent to the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Station on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard while renovations at their station on Camp Meade Road are completed. The renovations have been delayed twice.
Battalion Chief Gary Sheckells, a county Fire Department spokesman, said the move to a station three miles away is not expected to delay service to Linthicum residents.
The units were relocated to Ferndale on Dec. 30, one day after fire officials found the space heaters were emitting carbon monoxide levels three times the level permitted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
The unit will continue to perform such duties as fire hazard surveys in Linthicum during the day, but spend the nights at the Ferndale station, Chief Sheckells said.
The renovations at the firehouse, built in the 1930s, were scheduled to be completed by Dec. 21. But the completion date was pushed back to Jan. 10 after workers unexpectedly discovered gas lines beneath some underground fuel tanks they were removing.
The work isn't expected to be finished until the end of the month.
County officials and contractors on the job said the delays could be partially blamed on inaccurate blueprints for the old station house.
When crews punched a hole in the side of a chimney to route a new flue from the station's boiler to the existing chimney, they discovered it wasn't the same size as the flue above it.
"We somehow have to go through a concrete slab and create a new flue in the shop and take it through the slab above and bring it up to the next level and then tie it into the chimney," said Ted Drigan, president of Mark Engineering Co., the general contractor handling the renovations.
The work will add another $20,000 to the project's $525,000 price tag.
Bob Loomis, assistant director of Public Works, said he is looking for a way to find the extra $20,000 to complete the flue work to the fire station's chimney.
County Councilman George Bachman, who represents Linthicum, said this week he asked fire officials about the move after he began receiving inquiries a few weeks ago from Linthicum residents who were curious about what happened to the engines at the Linthicum station.
He received a letter dated Jan. 3 from Stephen D. Halford, the acting fire administrator, explaining the move to Ferndale.
In his letter, Mr. Halford said the temporary move was necessary because fire apparatus and drugs carried aboard the paramedic unit must be kept at certain temperatures to be effective.