The two buildings of Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD) station in the district town lie in a dilapidated state for lack of renovation for over 50 years since its establishment, putting the lives of the officials and firefighters themselves at risk.
There are cracks in different parts of the buildings, including walls and beams, while plaster has come off the ceiling in many places.The officials fear that the two buildings comprising the fire station might come down crashing anytime, unless they are renovated.
The fire station was set up on two acres of land on Bhola Tank Road in the district town in 1964.
There are station officer's office and parking lot for keeping the two vehicles used during rescue operations - themselves very old - on the ground floor of a two-storey building while senior officials reside on its first floor.
The other one-storey building is used as the barracks for other officials and employees. A total of 35 employees, including station officer, team leaders, firemen, drivers, cooks and conservancy workers, live in different rooms of the barracks.
Cracks have developed on different parts of the rooms as well as beams and parking lot of both buildings while the plaster has come off the ceiling in many places, exposing iron rods.Besides, the bathrooms are in a worse condition as their doors are broken while commodes are unfit for use.
The electric lines are also in a shabby condition as the wiring was done a long ago.
Besides, the tower of the fire station is also very old.
Talking to this correspondent, a number of officials and employees said they are passing their time inside the buildings amid anxiety while they work outside taking risk.
They are compelled to use the buildings as there is no alternative, they said, adding that it becomes impossible to reach the spot hurriedly with the old vehicles in case of any fire incident.
The fire station also lacks the equipment to douse fires in high-rise buildings, said assistant director of the fire station Matiar Rahman.
He said they are capable of dealing with a fire upto maximum 2ndfloor with the ladders they currently have.
Matiar said officials and employees have to use the risky buildings amid fear of accident as there is no alternative.
He said the station should be upgraded into a modern one through construction of new buildings and procuring modern equipment and vehicles so that they can be confident of dealing with any fire they are called in to fight effectively.