Rats Overrun Florida Fire Station

MELBOURNE, Fla. --

Rats may force firefighters to move out of their Brevard County fire station.

Rodents have infested Station 71 on Eau Gallie Boulevard in Melbourne, which was built in 1962.

Fire Chief Paul Forsberg has proposed to transfer personnel into an on-property modular building while crews renovate the 11,000-square-foot structure.

The vermin re-emerged at the end of February, Forsberg wrote in a status report. A pest-control contractor discovered several openings where the rats could breach the exterior walls, so the facility will be fixed "to prevent rodent entry."

Crews also will pull down the ceilings and perform other renovations.

The Melbourne City Council will vote Tuesday on a $31,850 plan to house firefighters in a modular building. Remodeling may take at least two months, Forsberg estimated.

Station 71 housed the fire department's administrative headquarters years ago.

A September 2006 study deemed the structure "very old, with inadequate upgrades" and "in need of renovation or remodeling if it is to continue in future service."

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