THE BRONX - Local leaders held a news conference on the steps of City Hall Wednesday to voice their concerns over possible cuts to 62 city firehouses.

Twenty fire companies are currently slated for closure in the city's preliminary budget plan. An additional 42 firehouses could be closed depending on how much money is allocated from the state budget.

Councilman James Vacca (D-District 13), along with firefighters, blasted the planned closures, saying they would destroy the city's emergency response system.

Last year, a plan to close 16 firehouses was scraped when the City Council restored nearly $16 million to the budget. This latest round of closures is expected to take effect July 1.