Relocation of Firehouse in Woodhaven During Renovations Causes Concerns for Residents
A century-old city firehouse is finally being renovated after years of disrepair, but not everyone is happy about what it will take to get the work done. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.
Having an old firehouse just a few doors from their homes has been a source of comfort for many who live on or near 87th Street. Some say it has been a lifesaver.
"I get asthma, and there is times I have to call them, and instead of the truck, they run down the block," said one resident.
"I had a fire. I live on 85th Street. And it was just so great having someone that close," said another.
But that's about to change. The firehouse is set to undergo an extensive 18-month renovation, which will force Engine Company 293 to relocate to a firehouse at 101st street and Jamaica Avenue. The new location is about a half mile away, and that has some residents worried.
"These little houses here that used to be two families, you now have four and five families living here, and for that reason alone, you really need something quite close," said one resident..
Responding to the concerns, the Fire Department says that during the renovation, the neighborhood will be covered by other fire companies in addition to Engine Company 293, a redundancy that should reduce the impact of the closure.
The local councilman, Eric Ulrich, is also trying to calm fears about the move and rumors that this is a permanent closure.
"The fire department has assured me that the response times will not be severely impacted, but that also the fire engine company will be returning back to the firehouse when construction is completed," Ulrich said.
The city tried to close Engine Company 293 several years ago, but residents fought the plan and won. This time around, it's the structure that needs saving.