As population booms, Long Island City wants a fire company reinstated

Elected officials and some Long Island City, Queens, residents are fired up. They want Mayor Bill de Blasio to reinstate FDNY Engine Company 261 and put it right back where it was with Ladder Company 116 in Dutch Kills. Then-Mayor Mike Bloomberg closed Engine 261 in 2003 to save money.

Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan said that when de Blasio was a city councilman he repeatedly called for reinstating the engine company.

In 2003, the population of the neighborhood was about 60,000 but now it is about 200,000, Jake Lemonda of the uniformed fire officers association said at a rally outside the firehouse on Wednesday. He added that the future arrival of Amazon will mean more workers and residents.

Some residents said they are also concerned and want Engine 261 back. Most of the high-rise apartment buildings weren't here when 261 closed 15 years ago.

"Keeping New Yorkers safe is the Mayor's top priority," de Blasio spokesperson Jaclyn Rothenberg wrote in an email to Fox 5. "We're always evaluating resources, demands, and response times and with an eye toward the future we will continue to do that in Long Island City."