CARTERET COUNTY - Seven fire departments in Carteret County did not pass a state inspection last month.
The fire departments include Indian Beach-Salter Path, Mill Creek, North River, Sea Level, South River, Stacy and Stella. The departments did not pass inspections because of problems with low staffing and paperwork issues.
The departments are placed under a one year probation period. If the departments do not pass their post-probation inspection, the area they serve would no longer have fire protection.
That could cause homeowners insurance to nearly double.
"We're going to be heavily engaged on a weekly if not monthly basis with those chiefs and ensure they are meeting the mile stones that we're going to create to make sure they're successful and that we can keep those departments up and running," John Ford, Carteret County Emergency Services Director, said.
The fire departments must pass a state inspection once every five years.