NO HEAT LEAVES FIREFIGHTERS HOT

By FRANKIE EDOZIEN

January 23, 2003 -- The firefighters union yesterday blasted FDNY brass for leaving the Bravest out in the cold.

At a time when the city is enduring the harshest January in years, more than a dozen firehouses currently have no heat, Uniformed Firefighters Association officials claimed.

Engine 4/Ladder 15 on South Street in Lower Manhattan has not seen any heat or hot water in four winters, and the indoor temperature this past week plunged to about 27 degrees, they said.

"You know when an apartment has no heat they can call the heat hot line," griped Phil McArdle, the health & safety officer of the Uniformed Firefighters Association.

"What the [FDNY] has done over and over again is they push it off, and they continue to push it off until the weather gets warmer," he added.

He said other houses had problems ranging from broken boilers to walls without insulation.

FDNY spokesman Mike Loughran said city officials had only three reports of problems in firehouses and were on the way to fixing those.

"The department is aware that several facilities are experiencing heat problems and we are currently working at these facilities to correct the situation," Loughran said.

Union officials also claimed that fire brass were now asking the affected firehouses to empty their trucks of water for fear that they might freeze.

The union officials also said the department had cut down the use of a machine that thaws frozen hydrants and other equipment.


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