Updated 02/15/2010 06:28 PM
Lawmakers Say Queens Fire Proves Cuts Should Be Shelved
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
Some Queens lawmakers are hoping Saturday's four-alarm fire that destroyed a strip of stores in Jackson Heights will persuade the Bloomberg adminstration to secure the funds necessary to prevent firehouse closures across the city.
While speaking to reporters at the scene Monday, Councilman Daniel Dromm and Assemblyman Jose Peralta said the safety of residents should outweigh any decision to shutter city firehouses.
"This is an example of what went right, no lives were lost, and families were taken out of their homes and there were no fatalities," Peralta said. "Now imagine if there were no firehouses, imagine if there were less fire houses."
"This disaster brought front and center to the residents of this community, how important it is to have firefighters nearby," Dromm said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed shutting down 20 fire companies in an effort to help close the city's budget gap.
The mayor called for 16 firehouses to be shut down last year, but those cuts were averted through a deal with the City Council.
Demolition crews are knocking down what's left from Saturday's fire which destroyed eight businesses.