Huntsville Fire & Rescue fighting brown recluse spiders at Station 17

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Huntsville Fire and Rescue is treating Station 17 in the Hampton Cove area for brown recluse spiders, confirmedĀ Captain Frank McKenzie on Monday.

McKenzie said two firefighters have been bitten.

To combat the spiders and keep crews safe, he explained the department moved firefighters, necessary equipment, and firefighters' personal items to Station 19 on Old Big Cove Road on October 5th.

Today, the station was sprayed for the pests. Fire crews will be back in service in Station 17 Tuesday, said McKenzie.

Brown recluse spiders are rarely seen, according to the National Capital Poison Center, but they can be dangerous. The center said it is one of the few spiders "that not only can bite humans, but whose venom can cause serious wounds and poisoning."

McKenzie, who was not available to talk on-camera Monday, pointed out that they do routinely treat stations for pests (including spiders) throughout the year. But spiders are often attracted to things like the hoses and other equipment, especially if it's damp from fighting fires and is lying around for a period of time.

While the Station 17 firefighters temporarily work out of another nearby station, McKenzie assured us the brown recluse spraying is not interrupting any service to the area or inconveniencing any training they had planned.