Officials: City Island firehouse cannot close

Bronx officials and City Island residents begged Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reinstate the island's only firehouse Tuesday before it closes permanently July 1.

Ladder 53 is scheduled to close as part of the latest round of FDNY budget cuts, but local officials say a new construction site on the Shore Road Circle Bridge will tack on 10 more minutes to the response time of nearby firehouses. The construction closes off at least one lane of the bridge to reach City Island.

If the City Island ladder company closes, Co-op City firefighters will be the area's first responders. Bronx officials say the Co-op City company is already four miles away and the new construction site will prevent them from reaching City Island fires for about 13 minutes.

Bloomberg and the city council are set to determine the final budget in the coming weeks.

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