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DIGGING DEEPER: Binghamton Fire Dept. Headquarters is crumbling, what you need to know now

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- 12 News investigated the current state of the Binghamton Fire Department Headquarters Wednesday after local officials highlighted its unsafe condition.

Binghamton Mayor Rich David announced at his state of city address Tuesday that the Binghamton Fire Department Headquarters will be replaced with a brand new facility.

Before that announcement, however, came this worry about the current setup.

"There is real concern about how much longer the floor can support the weight of these vehicles... now keep in mind several offices and city personnel are located below the fire department floor in the basement," he said.

12 News Reporter Julia Gorman spoke with Binghamton Fire Chief Daniel Eggleston about the concern.

He said Wednesday, "It's a concrete floor and we would never want a rig to fall through the floor obviously, but it's a potentially dangerous situation."

David also said in his address that where the current headquarters sit is, "...in a part of city hall not built to handle the heavy firefighting apparatus we use today."

Eggleston pointed out there are cracks in the floor that hold equipment weighing more than 50 tons.

He added, "We had the engineer come and they took core samples of the floor and we found how bad shape the floor was in."

And the problem isn't surface level, beneath the cracked floor sits another level.

Describing the ceiling of that level, Eggleston said, "See that's the rebar and it's exposed and you can see where it's getting all rusty."

He explained some ceiling damage is caused by salt and water from the firefighter headquarters seeping through cracks.

Besides damage, also on this level sit offices with people working inside everyday.

12 News' Julia Gorman: "Is there concern at all about just the safety of obviously you guys in here and then the people underneath with the condition that the building is in?"

Chief Eggleston: "Yes, there's no question about it."

Eggleston also said this issue has been ongoing for years and in those years, he's been pushing for change.

When asked for a timeline when staff would move out of the current facility, he said, "They're still working on that, due to the condition of the floor here, it's as soon as possible."

He said the plan for the headquarters is to move to an entirely new location, but right now the process is only in the planning stage.

Mayor David said his goal is to have the new headquarters open by the end of 2021.

Julia Gorman

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