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Fire sale! Bloomy plots closure of eight Bklyn companies

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Backshaft!

Eight fire companies in Brooklyn — 40 percent of the proposed 20 citywide closures — could flame out under a controversial plan by the Bloomberg Administration to save $55 million.

Of course, the city has been through these kinds of budgetary Kabuki dances before — times when administrations have proposed Draconian cuts which are followed by predictable protests and magical “restorations” of funding at the last minute.

But restorations aren’t certain.

Indeed, in 2003, six firehouses were shuttered — though Brooklyn still has the fastest response times in the city, according to the Bloomberg Administration.

But opponents say that this time, more closures would be disastrous.

“The city needs to seek alternatives to saving money that don’t put people’s lives in jeopardy,” said Chris Olechowski, the chairman of Community Board 1 in Williamsburg, where three fire companies could close.

Here’s a look at how your neighborhood could be affected:

Dyker Heights

Engine 284

1157 79th St.

Engine 284 is the one of three fire units in the nearly century-old 79th Street firehouse between 11th and 12th avenues that would be closed.

According to estimates, average response times in the tony enclave — a mix of million-dollar mansions and brick semi-attached houses — will jump 32 seconds, to 4:12 seconds, if Engine 284 is closed.

Anything above four minutes is problematic, according to the National Fire Protection Association, which estimates that most fires spread to adjacent rooms if they’re not stanched within that amount of time.

The firehouse was once home to area legend Joseph Graffagnino, who died battling a seven-alarm blaze at the former Deutsche Bank building in Manhattan in 2007.

The city considers Engine 284 one of the less-active units; firefighters assigned there go on a more than 650 calls a year — a third of which are medical emergencies.

But those calls may soon increase.

According to the 2010 census, there are more than 10,000 people living within a mile of the firehouse, with some streets seeing population explosions ranging between seven to 17 percent.

Picking up the slack will be Engine 247, located less than a mile away on on 60th Street and 13th Avenue.

— Thomas Tracy

Coney Island

Ladder 161

2929 W. Eighth St.

Located a couple of blocks from the amusement district and across the street from 20 high-rise apartment buildings, Ladder 161 has an average response time of 4:39.

If the company is shuttered, add 40 seconds to that.

The proposed closure would also affect other area properties, including Boardwalk businesses, the 60th Precinct stationhouse next door, PS 100 on W. Third Street, the Sea Breeze Jewish Center on Sea Breeze Avenue and two strip malls.

Ladder 161 responds to an average of 1,877 calls per year, making it one of the less-active companies, according to the FDNY.

At least two other ladder companies are nearby: Ladder 166 on Neptune Avenue between W. 25th and W. 26th streets, about 18 blocks away, and Ladder 169 on East 11th Street near Blake Court, about 15 blocks away.

— Alex Rush

Park Slope

Engine 220

530 11th St.

Engine 220 embarks on 1,880 runs a year, but that’s comparatively low citywide. The company, between Seventh and Eighth avenues, serves south Park Slope and Windsor Terrace — an area that’s seen a five-percent population jump since 2000 — and is just a few blocks from New York Methodist Hospital, PS 107, the Pavilion cinema (don’t yell fire inside there when its crowded!) and barbecue areas inside Prospect Park. Engine 220 is the firehouse of Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, who warned that “more lives will be lost” if the cuts come to pass. DeBlasio, arrested in 2004 for protesting an engine company closing in Cobble Hill, said he’s prepared for handcuffs again “if that’s what it takes.”

If the station gets the ax, response times would increase by 30 seconds to 4:08, according to city estimates. Engine 239 — located nine blocks away on Fourth Avenue at Sixth Street — will serve the tony parkside communities. Pols and area celebrities including “Reservoir Dogs” actor Steve “Mr. Pink” Buscemi were set to protest outside the firehouse on Wednesday.

— Natalie O’Neill

Brooklyn Heights

Engine 205

74 Middagh St.

The demise of Engine 205 would raise response time by 52 seconds to 4:20 in an area bursting with new residents and families, city estimates contend.

The firehouse, near Henry Street, is around the corner from PS 8 and near the Promenade, Brooklyn Bridge Park, along with restaurants and churches.

The company — one of the first to dispatch firefighters to the World Trade Center during the 9-11 attacks — responds to calls in Brooklyn Heights, Downtown and DUMBO, which has seen a massive population boom since 2000.

It shares its Middagh Street facility with Ladder 118, and averages 1,603 calls per year. If its firefighters are relocated, Engine 224 on Hicks Street and Engine 207 and Ladder 110 on Tillary and Gold streets — the Tillary Tigers — will carry the burden.

— Kate Briquelet

Williamsburg

Ladder 104

161 S. Second St.

Engine 206

1201 Grand St.

Engine 218

650 Hart St.

The trio of companies is among the least active in the city —but that’s no solace to a neighborhood still bitter over the closure of Engine 212 eight years ago.

The most likely to shut down is East Williamsburg’s Engine

206, nestled in an industrial peninsula abutting Newtown Creek near beer distributors and lumber yards.

It ranks 195th of 198 engine companies in total runs, making only an average of 1,102 calls in a three-year period, and if it were to close, response times would rise only 28 seconds, from 4:01 to 4:29.

But response times in Williamsburg’s diversifying south side could rise 51 seconds, from 3:45 to 4:36, if Ladder 104 is shuttered.

And if Engine 218 is closed, response times in Bushwick could jump by 15 seconds, from 3:16 to 3:31.

Census records show communities near the stations have been growing steadily over the past decade: The population near Engine 218 rose 60 percent; a census tract near Engine 206 jumped 55 percent; and the tract containing Ladder 104 increased six percent.

Engine 216 on Union Street would likely cover emergency calls on Williamsburg’s south side while Engine 237 on

Morgan Avenue would pick up the hose in East Williamsburg and southwest Bushwick.

— Aaron Short

Updated 5:24 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

jerry from coney island/brighton beach says:
This is a very easy issue to solve. Our BP Marty Markowitz is sitting on over $ 64 million for an ill-advised, ill-conceived & unwanted Amphitheater in Asser Levy Park.
We have to make choices in this very tough economic crisis the City is facing.
The breakdown of the Amphitheater money is as follows:
$ 10 million dollars is coming from Mayor Bloomberg, another $ 1 million dollars is coming from Councilman Recchia, and another $1-2 million coming from the State via Senator Carl Kruger.
You can't have it both ways. If you want to keep the citizens of NY safe then Mr. Markowitz should give back his Amphitheater monies to the City. He can save ALL OF THE PROPOSED FIRE HOUSE CLOSING WITH THAT MOVE.
The Choice is do we want a Boondonggle of a Music Venue or do we want to Keep our Fire Houses Open?
Public Safety or Marty's Dream which is the Communities NightmareFor me it's a no brainer.
May 26, 2011, 7:19 am
Joe from Kensington says:
The idea that the city can NEVER close a firehouse is silly. The city needs to cut expenses and there just aren't as many fires as there used to be. They took the right approach here by looking city-wide and finding redundancies. DeBlasio and Marty are just a headline-grabbers, if they were the mayor and actually had to be responsible for a budget, they'd be looking for closeures too.

I applaud Bloomberg for paying attention to the bottom line even though he knew that political hacks all over the city would try to make hay over this.
May 26, 2011, 8:16 am
jerry from coney island/brighton beach says:
@Joe : The firemen who saved the man's life yesterday in Coney Island (that's where my Fire House is on the cutting board) could not have saved his life if this fire house was closed.
Joe : if it were your father or brother or mom or sister I'm sure you would not think a great idea to close Fire Houses.
It's your choice : Keep Fire Houses or Listen to Music at a Marty Markowitz $64 million Amphitheater.
May 26, 2011, 8:43 am
job provider from tea party says:
Why should I have to pay because some crack head sets themselves on fire. Privatize the FDNY and stop stealing my money.
May 26, 2011, 9 am
sam from brooklyn says:
@jerry: Yes, if that firehouse had been closed, THAT fireman couldn't have saved that life if his firehouse was closed. Instead a DIFFERENT fireman from a different firehouse would have saved that man's life, at less expense.
May 26, 2011, 9:02 am
Dave from Park Slope says:
Joe, you're absolutely right about Marty and de Blasio. But closing firehouses while flushing hundreds of millions down sinkholes like Atlantic Yards and empty Yankee Stadium parking garages? That's unacceptable, and certainly calls into question any claim that Bloomberg is fiscally responsible.
May 26, 2011, 9:05 am
sam from brooklyn says:
Oh right @job provider, our fire depts should decide whether to respond to a fire or save a life based on shareholder return. Wrong! FDNY should be a public service. But they shouldn't waste public money by operating an excess of firehouses.
May 26, 2011, 9:08 am
jerry from coney island/brighton beach says:
@sam : Unless you are an expert on Fires & Firefighting I'll go with the experts : President Cassidy of the Fire Union defintely said that that man would be dead if that Fire House was closed.
I hope you never need the help of a fireman & they tell you we would have been here sooner but your fire was closed, sorry for the delay.
May 26, 2011, 9:10 am
Joe from Kensington says:
@Dave, the city is not on the hook for the Yankee Stadium garages, the bond holders are. The bonds were issued by a city conduit but private developer pays debt service. So no $$ loss for city there. (I'm a bond analyst, I've read the docs).

Look, Bloomberg is FAR from perfect but he's dealing with 1) lower tax revenues due to recession, 2) state aid cuts, 3) end of federal stimulus. So this line that its all Bloomy's fault when teachers are laid off or firehouses are closed is bogus.

Instead of letting hacks like DeBlasio get away with blaming the mayor, lets ask him what he would cut to deal with lower revenues. Or would he raise taxes? Or is he just feeding us the old bogus "cut waste/fraud/abuse/consultants and there is plenty of money" line? Nah, its just easier and more popular to be pro-firehouses.
May 26, 2011, 9:53 am
jerry from coney island says:
@Joe : What about the surplus of over $2-3 billion dollars ?
Spend it like a drunken sailor on projects the city doesn't need right now or keep the Fire House Open , Keep the teachers we have ( get rid of the dead wood of course)?
People are going to leave this city in droves . It will become another Detroit.
Our tax base will suffer.
May 26, 2011, 10:06 am
judahspechal from bed-stuy says:

Sad that the thieves that recked the Eco. are laughing at all of us and the working people has to pays. (bail out, & now your city & local tax $$ have disappear so we cut education & safety).

Jerry: heard of City time and all the corrupt consultants on the taxpayer's dime that the mayor has on the payroll?
What about them? They are the thieves.

You also seems to think that is only your $$. It's everyone who's worked a job & gets a paycheck money also.
I want my $$ to keep the fire department open. I don't want my $$ going to overpriced, corrupted consultants.

Since I've was 17, there's been a deduction for medicare on every paychecks I've earned since, just like all other workers.

Now they are saying I will never see that money again, but it's best to give the money to the rich, cause they know what to do with it.
May 26, 2011, 10:21 am
judahspechal from bed-stuy says:
That's the American Spirit. Really?

Steal from the working class & give it to the rich?
May 26, 2011, 10:23 am
job provider from tea party says:
What part of we are broke do you people not understand? The job creators in this society are sick of providing for parasites, and all the union thugs in the world are not changing that. After 2012 the tea party will keep pressure on the Republicans that will control all 3 branches of govt to finally do the right thing.
May 26, 2011, 10:28 am
William from Williamsburg says:
CLOSE 'EM ALL!

WE DON'T NEED NO DAMN FIRE DEPARTMENT...WE'LL HANDLE IT OURSELVES.
May 26, 2011, 10:56 am
tupelo35 from windsor terrace says:
william, it sounds like you've been handling yourself to much..
May 26, 2011, 11:39 am
tupelo35 from windsor terrace says:
jerry from coney is absolutely right , why should markowitz hold back the funds for his failed amphitheater,i guess his ego is to big and it'll be a case of Marty diddling, I mean fiddling while brooklyn burns.
May 26, 2011, 12:01 pm
John from BKLYN says:
Stop installing those damn bike lanes and pedestian plazas. Where are this mayor's priorities?
May 26, 2011, 12:14 pm
SwampYankee from out of town says:
Well this story is certainly written with a slant. Perhaps you might go back and look at the number of calls of these houses vs. the number of calls say.....10 years a go. What you might find is a significant drop in the number of calls because as Brooklyn becomes increasingly gentrified, the number of fires proportionally drops
May 26, 2011, 12:33 pm
judahspechal from bedstuy says:
Interesting! Pedestrian plazas make it hard for the fire-trucks to make turns at some intersection.

T mayor's solution is to get rid of the Fire- trucks.
May 26, 2011, 12:34 pm
Paul A. from Bay Ridge/Ft. Hamilton says:
Bike Lanes, Amphitheater, Atlantic Yards, Fire Teachers,Subway Service, Bus Service, Over Paid Consultants....All to feed the inflated egos of politicians. People will either be seriously injured or die because the bean counters want to spend our money on their own projects. Do we really need a system in the sub way to tell us how late the next train will be? All this non-vital equipment must be maintained....money. Amphitheater...Your building is afire or you need medical help...don't worry the amphitheater not too far away.....money! Possible loss of life over a building that will need more maintenance if it is kept up...money! Bike lanes...Do we really need extensive bike lanes when the delivery people are on the sidewalks anyway? Teachers?? What is education over a place to watch basketball?? Sanitation cuts....What the hell, the streets would get dirty anyway. Close some more librarys.....no big deal..people aren't reading that much anymore anyway. Welcome to the THIRD WORLD!!
May 26, 2011, 12:40 pm
tupelo35 from windsor terrace says:
all those things paul mentioned and his prediction of America becoming a third world are true.
the only positive part of that scenario is all the illegals will go home , why travel this far to be subjected to the discomforts they are trying to escape.
May 26, 2011, 1:02 pm
tupelo35 from windsor terrace says:
jane, sounds like you s/b hosed down.
May 26, 2011, 1:32 pm
judahspechal from bed-stuy says:
SwampYankee thanks for the end of day laughter. You are funny & stupid. Gentrification leads to a dimish need for the FDNY. Ha ha! What an ***s***e
May 26, 2011, 5:16 pm
The Candidate from Williamsburg says:
Mayor Bloomberg in his budget wants to finish what Ben Ladin left, Ben Ladin killed nearly 300 fireman, Bloomberg wants to kill 20 fire houses.

Bloomberg also claims that the Census Bureau failed in NYC with over 250,000 people, can you imagine that we will have less fireman per family, and at the same time he hires more traffic enforcement agents-fire them
May 26, 2011, 5:54 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
How is that Bloomberg is making the claim that the city can't keep the firehouses open, but always seems to have money whenever it comes to his rich buddies and pet projects? Then again, that's Bloomberg for you. Privatizing the fire department is a bad idea, and there was a reason they were made public to begin with. Durring the late 1600's over in England, the water brigade, which is what they were called at the time, would only put out fires if the said building was insured by them otherwise they would just let it burn down. Publicizing this group is what made them put all fires, and not be selective to those that can pay for them, and the same thing was done for the police, who also only helped whoever can afford them. I won't argue on how some fires are caused, but these happen and they need to be put out as soon as possible.
May 26, 2011, 9:11 pm
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU from PARK SLOPE/CROOKLYN says:
Rise my soldiers Rise get up get get up

Throw your television out know the truth

Theres more of us than them ...

don't be araid to get what's yours

THEY SEPERATED US FOR TOO LONG:
RACE
GENDER
CLASS
RELIGION
COME TOGETHER

MUCH LOVE FOR THE FIREMEN YOU WERE THERE ON 9/11 YOU LOST DEEP ON THAT DAY. WHO ELSE IS WILLING TO RUN INTO A BURNING BUILDING, SCHOOL, OR HOSPITAL ? THESE MEN WE NEED, THESE MEN WE NEED TO SHOW RESPECT WE NEED TO SHOW LOVE.

BLOOMBERG:

YOU CAN TRY AND CLOSE DOWN EVERYTHING PUBLIC SO THAT THE KIDS IN THE FUTURE CAN'T GET A SIMPLE DIPLOMA TO SURVIVE, YOU CAN TRY CLOSING DOWN FIREHOUSES ALL OVER NEW YORK WHILE WE POSSIBLY GET HIT BY A "TERRORIST ATTACK" OR WHILE WE LOSE ANOTHER CHILD IN A FIRE ( NUMBER TWO KILLER IS CHILDREN IN FIRES) YOU CAN TRY BLOOMBERG BUT YOU WILL FAIL.
May 28, 2011, 1:49 am
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU from PARK SLOPE/CROOKLYN says:
"THOSE WHO MAKE PEACEFUL REVOLUTION IMPOSSIBLE MAKE VIOLENT REVOLUTION INEVITABLE"

-JFK
May 28, 2011, 1:55 am
riotriotriot from parkslope/crooklyn says:
see that ax hes holding??????

dont —— with real people bloomberg
May 28, 2011, 3:05 pm
judahspechal from bedstuy says:
The Candidate- shaky grounds. Let's leave 911 out of it. The pain is still fresh......
May 29, 2011, 8:35 am
Liz from Park Slope says:
And I hear that they will be replacing all the city street signs because the way they are now (all caps) some people find it hard to read.

WHATTTT???

They have enough money for that.
But not enough to keeps the safety of people a priority???

This guy is the worst mayor ever.
May 29, 2011, 12:57 pm

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