Aggressive bat colony invades Pasco fire station, forces firefighters out

Fire station 39 closed for one week
Posted at 11:11 PM, Jun 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-12 13:30:28-04

Pasco County Fire Rescue is temporarily closing Fire Station 39 due to a bat colony taking up residence in the building. 

The fire chief tells ABC Action News, bats have been living on their property for years, but recently have become brazen and now pose a serious health risk to firefighters. 

According to the chief, they've spotted bats flying in living quarters, including bunk rooms, bathrooms and the weight room. 

Several bats have been found living inside the building, creating unsanitary and unsafe conditions, according to Pasco County Fire Rescue. 

During the closure, Engine 39 will be responding out of Fire Station 20 in Shady Hills and Rescue 39 will be operating out of Fire Station 10 in Hudson. 

Hernando County Fire Rescue will also be providing mutual aid in northwest Pasco county. 

Some residents in Heritage Pines Country Club, a gated community for people 55-years-old and up, are now worried about longer response times. 

"That's a real concern for everybody in the community," said Mary Lou Ballman. "We use that fire station a lot."

The fire chief tells ABC Action News, it's illegal to displace bats during mating season, which is between May and August. 

A wildlife expert is now working with Pasco County officials to figure out how and where the bats are getting inside the fire station. 

A trained trapper will be checking on the bats daily over the next week to seal off entry points the bats are using.