Bronx rebuilds after arson-rampant 70s

Firefighters say they were doing thousands of runs a year during that time. (5/8/14)

THE BRONX - "The Bronx is burning" was a phrase used in the 70s when arson was rampant in the borough. The Bronx has since been revitalized and brought itself back from the ashes.

Retired FDNY Lt. John Kenny worked out of Ladder 59 during the 70s, a time he calls "the war years." Kenny says firefighters were doing between 5,000 and 6,000 runs a year during this time as arson was rampant in the Bronx.
Rep. Jose Serrano (D-16th District) had just been elected to his first term in the New York Assembly and describes the period as "difficult."

"It wasn't uncommon to go by and see three, four, five buildings boarded up," says Serrano. He described Charlotte Street, in the heart of his district, as being one of the most hard-hit areas.

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Charlotte Street has since been rebuilt and is now a quiet residential area.

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