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After Bronx Fire Kills 17, Union Cites Cut In Staff as a Factor

By BOB HENNELLY bhennelly@thechiefleader.com
Posted 1/14/22

In the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 9 Bronx high-rise fire, that killed 17 people—eight of them childrenit was the failure of two apartment doors to close automatically as required by the city Building Code that was blamed for the toxic plume of smoke that overcame those who rushed to the building's stairwell.

But Uniformed Firefighters Association President Andy Ansbro said a contributing factor to the high death tollthe worst in the city since the 1990 Happy Land fire killed 87 people in a Bronx social clubwas the Fire Department's decision a week earlier to reduce staffing from five Firefighters to four on 20 engine companies, slowing their ability to effectively respond and get water on a blaze.

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