Pasco County fire station closed, over 50 bats found inside

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Pasco County firefighters are battling more than fires these days. Right now, they’re battling a bat problem.

Fifty to 100 bats were found inside the attic and walls of Pasco County fire station 39.

“You’ll hear a thud sometimes. You’ll hear some scratching. You’ll hear some squeaks,” said fire chief Andrew Fossa.

Bats starting flying out of the walls and into the bedrooms.

“We had a gentlemen who was actually in bed and got up and the next morning, had a bat sleeping on top of the sheet with him,” said Fossa.

Since rabies are a big concern, 15 firefighters were forced out.

“We don’t like them being displaced and more all, we don’t like having that station empty to protect our citizens,” said Fossa.

Nearby residents don’t care for it either.

“You’re going to have to call somebody, some other station far away, which is going to take much longer time,” said Bill Blais.

Until this is fixed, two nearby stations and Hernando County will help with that response time.

“The state of the care will never be lowered, everyone is paramedics, everyone is ALS and the response time is not going to lag,” said Fossa.

The bat trapper stopped by today and said conditions are improving.

“I don’t see anything in here right now, which is a good sign, because we had 16 in here yesterday,” said trapper Chris Cole.

As for the fire chief, this isn’t a problem he planned on having this week.

“Now we’re dealing with rescuing rats. Helping them find a new place to live. In the fire service we have a saying, you can never make this stuff up, it’s something new every single day.”

In order for the station to re-open, there has to be 72 hours of no bat activity. The station could be open as soon as Thursday.

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