Firefighters Lose Battle With Rats

CBS 2 - August 06, 2003

New York's Bravest Forced To Abandon Queens Firehouse

NEW YORK (CBS) A Queens firehouse has been forced to shut down because hundreds of rats have infested it.

Firefighters at Engine 298, Ladder Co. 127 and Battalion 50 had to leave the station in Jamaica because it must be gutted to get rid of the pests.

Some of the rats measure as long as 10 inches and started invading the firehouse at Hillside Ave. and 153rd Street in the spring. While, many of them have been unresponsive to extermination, others crawled into the building's walls and ceilings and died, causing a foul smell.

Firefighters said that whole families of rats are living in the firehouse and that over the past few days they had killed 16 of the rodents.

The gutting of the fire station will begin Monday and could be closed for up to 10 weeks. The 60 firefighters assigned there have been dispersed to three other firehouses on Union Turnpike, Atlantic Avenue and Merrick Blvd.