After fire, focus turns to City Island's Ladder Comp. 53

The City Island fire that tore through apartments and businesses Tuesday morning has again put attention on the city's plans to shutter a local ladder company overnight.

Under the new policy announced by the fire department in December, Ladder Company 53 and others in the city will be closed at 6 p.m. and reopen the next morning at 9 a.m. The new policy is set to go into effect Jan. 17.

City Island firefighters will still be able to battle a blaze - such as Tuesday's two-alarm fire - from the ground, but will have to wait for crews from other stations for a ladder truck.

Residents say that when flames broke out on City Island Avenue Tuesday morning, Ladder Company 53 was fighting the fire within a minute. But they say other fire crews from outside City Island weren't as quick.

State Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) says he plans to contact Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta to demand Ladder Company 53 stays fully operational in light of Tuesday's fire.

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