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Press Releases / 2007 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19, 2007


New Base Will Lead to More Fire Investigations, More Arrests

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta announced today the opening of a new fire marshal base at Fort Totten in Queens – where FDNY fire marshals are assigned to conduct all fire investigations throughout Queens, the Bronx and northern Manhattan. The Citywide North Command – staffed by 37 fire marshals, eight supervising fire marshals and a deputy chief fire marshal -- is located in a recently restored, century-old landmark building that once served as quarters for field officers in the U.S. Army. The three-story, 12,000 square-foot building contains an interview room, a holding cell, a kitchen, a conference room and office space for fire marshals.

The new base will supplement the Citywide South Command in Brooklyn where fire marshals are assigned to conduct fire investigations in Brooklyn, Staten Island and all of Manhattan south of 110th St.

“Fire marshals are an essential component in protecting the security of this City, and this new base will allow them to conduct more investigations efficiently,” said Commissioner Scoppetta. “By uncovering new fire patterns and the causes of the City’s most tragic fires, fire marshals have the unique ability to prevent other tragedies from occurring -- by giving the answers New Yorkers need to save themselves and their families from the devastation of a fire.”

With more manpower and a new base, the Bureau of Fire Investigation, led by Chief Fire Marshal Louis Garcia, is expected to fully investigate approximately 1,400 more fires citywide each year and increase the overall number of arrests. Fire marshals will now be able to reduce their travel time and allot more time for critical investigative work.

The additional investigations will aid fire marshals in determining fire trends, both suspicious and accidental causes, such as the identification of serial arsonists and the misuse of common household items. As a result, fire safety tips are regularly generated and provided to the public year-round through the FDNY Fire Safety Education Unit.

The new base at Fort Totten, as well as 27 new fire marshal positions and five new supervising fire marshal positions, were created as a result of $1.4 million included in Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2008. More than 130 fire marshals and supervisors are assigned to the FDNY Bureau of Fire Investigation.

Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon & Tony Sclafani, (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

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