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De Blasio Conducting Search for Fire Commissioner Replacement

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Following a deadly fire in the Rockaways, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano would not be staying on in his administration and that he was actively looking for a replacement. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

Mayor Bill de Blasio is snuffing out any speculation that Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano could keep his job.

"It's been clear from the beginning that it's an interim role," de Blasio said.

The mayor made it clear on Monday that Cassano should brush off his resume. De Blasio is conducting a search for his replacement.

Back in December, de Blasio said Cassano would stay on for the time being. Soon after, the FDNY's leader was standing side by side with de Blasio as he navigated the first tragedy of his administration.

Since then, Cassano, who worked his way up through the department, has been quick to tell NY1 how much he loves his job.

"I haven't been here that long. I love my job," he said in November.

"I'm still the fire commissioner. I've been the fire commissioner since 2010," he said in March. "I'm going to continue to do my job and work for the administration for as long as they want me to work for them. As you can see, we're doing some exciting things."

But when de Blasio was asked about Cassano on Monday, he told the press that his appointment was just interim.

"It's been an interim role, and I think he's performed admirably, and I give him a lot of respect, particularly for what he did in the middle of the East Harlem tragedy, which was an extremely difficult moment," de Blasio said.

Peppered with questions about Cassano, de Blasio made his point three times.

"I think I've said all there is to say," the mayor said. "He's interim."

De Blasio's remarks came as Cassano was responding to criticism that the department was slow to respond to a fatal fire in the Rockaways over the weekend. The department is examining whether ambulances were delayed there.

"We're looking at the timeline and the delay of an ambulance being dispatched and why it happened," Cassano said. "I'm leading the investigation."

The FDNY did not respond specifically to de Blasio's comments.

While he said he is clearly searching, de Blasio has given no timeline for naming Cassano's replacement.

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