JACKSON HEIGHTS (WPIX)—In the aftermath of a fierce four-alarm fire in Queens that destroyed 13 businesses and temporarily displaced over 100 residents Saturday, local politicians are calling for the city to halt its closures of fire houses.
Councilman Daniel Dromm, Assemblyman Jose Peralta and fire union officials at scheduled to hold a press conference at 11 a.m. Monday in front of the devastated commercial strip at 84-09 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights.
They will argue that rather than close 20 local fire houses, the city should find alternative methods to save money.
They feel that, especially after the inferno that ravaged businesses in Jackson Heights, all city firehouses are a crucial to maintaining public safety.
But if the closure of fire companies does come to fruition, they predict that it may have deadly consequences.
The four-alarm blaze erupted just before 10 a.m. Saturday and burned for three-and-a-half house before the work of 200 responding firefighters extinguished the flames.
Thick billows of black and grey smoke could be seen from as far away as Long Island City.
Investigators believe the fire originated at the Acme Furniture store on 37th Avenue and spread to neighboring businesses. Fire firefighters were able to prevent the flames from reaching a residential building.=
Over 100 residents were evacuated before being allowed back into their homes hours later.
Four firefighter suffered minor injuries.
Twenty-four hours after the Saturday blaze, firefighters found themselves at the same location on Sunday to extinguish pockets of flare-ups that sprung up overnight.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.