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

CITY ISLAND - 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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