Brooklyn Heights “Fire Under the Bridge” Engine 205 on Bloomberg Hitlist for Closure

WABC-TV and major media outlets have published a list released by Mayor Bloomberg’s office of 20 “endangered” firehouses in NYC. Among them is our own Engine 205 on Middagh Street, the house that lost 8 heroes on 9/11/01. The reports claim that no final decision has been made on where the cuts will finally be made.

BHB’s Weegee notes below that this COULD mean that Ladder 118 would remain in operation in the Middagh firehouse.

Tonight, our man in the NYC Council Steve Levin released this statement:

“I am deeply disappointed to learn this afternoon that Brooklyn Height’s Engine 205, one of the only firehouses in Brooklyn Heights, is on the FDNY’s list of firehouses slated for closure. While I appreciate Commissioner Cassano’s willingness to release this information to the public and his commitment to going through the budget process in a fair and transparent manner, I believe that closing any firehouse— particularly when it is one of only two firehouses in a neighborhood, as is the case with Engine 205— is a dangerous and unnecessary action on the part of Mayor Bloomberg. We in the City Council refuse to have firehouses pitted against child care or teachers during this budget process. I demand that the administration restore all firehouses slated for closure, starting with Engine 205 in Brooklyn Heights.”

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz issued this statement Wednesday night:

“I am flabbergasted that eight engine and ladder companies—nearly half of the 20 proposed closures citywide—are in Brooklyn. If there is any serious thought being given to closing these houses, it needs to be extinguished like a three-alarm fire. Just in the last week, Engine 284 in Dyker Heights—one of the companies on the hit list—assisted with an area fire and their quick response no doubt saved lives. I know we are experiencing challenging economic times, but the truth is, in Brooklyn we need the FDNY now more than ever. Brooklyn is growing by leaps and bounds, which means that in the coming years there will be an ever greater need for New York’s Bravest. It is our collective responsibility to ensure maximum safety for all of our residents—and that means no firehouse closings!”

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  • Karl Junkersfeld

    This is a stupid question but does this include L118. Not sure what distinction is between L118 and E205. Are they one of the same? Can someone help me out?

    If closed does the city sell this for use as a condo? Depressing. The comfort of having this firehouse down the block is important to me. They have proven important to me personally by showing up immediately to put out a fire in my kitchen and secondly checking on a severely intoxicated individual across my street for life signs and then assisting them in moving. They are just amazing. Please say it ain’t so.

  • David on Middagh

    Living in the building next door to Karl’s aflame kitchen, I, too, am distressed that we may lose our firehouse.

  • weegee

    KJ – This refers to the COMPANIES, not the HOUSE. In this case, they’d make L-118 solo in the house (it’s a general rarity to have single-house ladder companies in the FDNY.) Particularly with the closure of E-204 on DeGraw St. several years ago, this is going to put quite a bit of additional response time into the mix.

    Currently, on your average south Heights fire run, the initial dispatch sends, in order: E-224 (Hicks St.), E-205 (Middagh St.), and E-207 (Tillary St.), in addition to the ladder companies (L-118/L-110) and the Battalion Chief (BC-31). If it’s deemed a working fire, you get a fourth engine, which is E-226 (State St.) With the closure of 205, move everything back one step, and now E-226 is making the trip from Boerum Hill to the Heights almost every time by default. The new fourth engine, sent on a working fire signal, would now be E-202 from Richards St. in Red Hook.

    Beyond this, there’s the housing projects and new developments in DUMBO, which are pretty much split between 205 and 207. 207 will now have a heck of a lot more runs in the Sands Street area, and their workload (in addition to being a part of the Satellite engine system — they go with a second piece to any two-alarm fire in north Brooklyn) will skyrocket.

  • nabeguy

    Given that the north Heights has one of the largest collections of historic pre-1840’s wood frame houses in the city, does this make any sense? My own house would probably end up as a pile of ashes by the time the 207 or 224 showed up or would certainly be destroyed beyond repair. While these houses may have been built in such a way as to stand the test of time, there’s no escaping the fact that the wood in them is 170-80 years old. To risk our city’s heritage, as well as the safety of its citizens, in order to balance a budget is myopia on the scale of Mr. Magoo. Here’s the list of proposed closings. Can you find the one closest to our mayor’s residence?

    E004 42 South St. Manhattan
    E026 220 West 37th St. Manhattan
    E046 460 Cross Bronx Expwy. Bronx
    E060 341 East 143rd St. Bronx
    E157 1573 Castleton Ave. Staten Island
    E161 278 McClean Ave. Staten Island
    E205 74 Middagh St. Brooklyn
    E206 1201 Grand St. Brooklyn
    E218 650 Hart St. Brooklyn
    E220 530 11th St. Brooklyn
    E233 25 Rockaway Ave. Brooklyn
    E284 1157 79th St. Brooklyn
    E294 101-20 Jamaica Ave. Queens
    E306 40-18 214th Place Queens
    E328 16-19 Central Ave. Queens
    L008 14 North Moore St. Manhattan
    L053 169 Schofield Ave. Bronx
    L104 161 South 2nd St. Brooklyn
    L128 33-51 Greenpoint Ave. Queens
    L161 2929 W 8th St. Brooklyn

  • Jeffrey j Smith

    The bottom line is this mayor and this administration in one of the greatest wealth centers on the planet can’t (won’t) deliver one of the most basic governmental services we all pay for.

    This, lets use a PC correct term, “brain different” person thinks
    human life is an dispenable commodity. Normal people know There is NO subsiture for a proper adiquate amount of Fire, police, and EMS.

    Human life, comes FIRST

  • Eddy de Lectron

    Also, what if there are two fires or emergencies at the same time in the downtown area? That situation would leave us very under protected. Mikes gotta get his 160 IQ working a little harder. This is real city not sim city.

  • mlo

    This is all very frustrating. How is it with continued increase in building and conversion of residential homes and the development an re-development of almost entire new nabes i.e DUMBO, Redhook etc -really look around there are thousands more residents -paying taxes- why isn’t there money for our education system and fire dept services and metro transportation?? If anything they should be bumping up service not cutting back. Somethin ain’t right in Dodge…

  • weegee

    Whenever there’s a major working incident, the FDNY puts relocations into place so as not to completely strip a neighborhood of coverage; every location in the city, referred to as a “box” (whether there’s an actual physical alarm box there nor not) has a complete plan in the department’s system for multiple alarms worth of units. In other words, no one’s scratching their heads wondering “who should we send?” when things start to go downhill. That’s why you see out-of-area apparatus rolling around Brooklyn Heights when the local units are tied up somewhere. The St. George fire was a good example of units from all over either responding to the scene or relocating to fill empty firehouses. (Incidentally, E-205 was out returning from the Hamptons during the brush fires the night the St George went up. They would normally have been the first-due engine, but didn’t end up going until the 2nd alarm was transmitted.)

  • MadeInBrooklyn

    Is anyone interested in organizing a rally to draw attention to saving the house? If so, count me in.

  • Eddy de Lectron

    weegee, thanks very informative, I take it you may be a firefighter?

  • weegee

    No, just a news photographer who likes to know the material…and a Heightser whose Christmas card photo at age 4 featured himself wearing a “118” helmet.

  • Jeffrey j Smith

    A rally to stop any firehouse closings would be very good-
    But there should be a rally, and THEN there should be organizd a flying squad which would show up at ever hearing, board meeting,
    dog catcher conference, whereveve they would be effective.

    Continuing or recurring protests work since politicos and various
    breaucrats…our wonderful press cannot smugly adopt a “this is a one-shot thing-let them vent” “and then we can go back to business” attitudes. Which they always have

    But continuing protests cannot just be punishment/making official-
    dom unconfortable. That wears out. It HAS to be a combo of
    punishment and honestly asking Govt AND the public “is this reasonable official behavior? This is often (and best) accomp-nied by testimony of victims who show what measures like what
    is being proposed ACTUIALLY mean in human terms.

  • nabeguy

    There will be a rally at the firehouse on Thursday May 287th 1 PM. Bring your ire and your bullhorn

  • http://none K

    there is a rally — On May 25 2011 at 10 AM Engine 220 will be holding a rally in front of their quarters. Let’s show the brothers some support!

    On May 26 at 1PM Engine 205 will be holding rheire in front of quarters.

    On June 4 L161 in Staten Island will be having theirs (times to follow). Engine 206 will also be holding theirs sometime early June (times and date to follow).

  • IB Farley

    Do you think Mayor Bloomie will show up? Oh, that’s right – the world is going to end at 6 PM on Saturday. Bloomie is leaving then, and taking all his money with him. He’s taking Regina Myer with him too. Who says you can’t buy your way into heaven. We’ll see.

  • nabeguy

    Sorry for the typo. K is correct about the 205 rally on Thursday 5/26 at 1:00 in front of the station at 78 Middagh. Please try to attend. We must save the 205 to keep our neighbors alive.

  • Aly

    Doesn’t anyone remember the Greenpoint, Brooklyn Fire on Monitor Street in November of 2003? Half of the block burnt down due to a common cockloft that all of the old framed houses shared. The fire quickly spread throughout the 9-10 homes just about gutting all of them. At that time, they had just closed Engine 229 & Ladder 146 in Greenpoint. The stats showed that with that Fire house open, at least 4 homes could have been spared.

    They reopened the firehouse after.

    Are they ever going to learn?