By Bill Shields

PLYMOUTH (CBS) — A Plymouth firehouse is falling apart. Firefighters say the problem will lead to longer response times that threaten the safety of people in the town.

A structural engineer said the floor of the station isn’t even stable enough to hold the firefighters’ equipment. Firefights say the conditions are unacceptable.

When it was built in 1908, the North Plymouth firehouse was state of the art. Back then, they had steam engines on wooden carriages. Today, one engine can weigh as much as 47,000 pounds.

The result? The floor is collapsing. In the basement, the floor is littered with chunks of concrete from the ceiling.

Part of the floor at the North Plymouth firehouse that is falling apart. (Photo Credit: Plymouth Fire Department)

One of the engines has to sit outside during the day, and the upcoming winter is not the time of year for it.

“We carry water and we have a fire pump,” said Deputy Chief Neil Foley. “And that fire pump, if it were ever to freeze, would either cause damage to the pump where it may not work, or it would be frozen solid and we wouldn’t be able to pump water on a fire.”

And the firehouse in North Plymouth isn’t the only one with problems. Headquarters has had to be virtually abandoned.

“Columbus Day we had to get out of that building. We’re still not back in it yet,” said Fire Chief Ed Bradley. “My office staff is working out of the emergency operations center in Cedarville.”

So the chief’s office is now an SUV.

“Compared to one of these fire stations, it may be better off to be in the car,” Bradley said jokingly.

A new firehouse in North Plymouth is being built, but won’t be finished until June. Headquarters is also being renovated.

Bill Shields

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