FDNY Opens Fire Marshal Base in Queens
The Bureau of Fire Investigations (BFI) is celebrating the holidays with one big gift – a new fire marshal base at Fort Totten in Queens.
“This new base is crucial to improving fire safety and protecting the community from arsonists,” said Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta during the ribbon cutting ceremony on December 19. “BFI will now be able to do even more to track the cause of fires in New York City.”
A deputy chief fire marshal, eight supervising fire marshals and 37 fire marshals are assigned to the new Citywide North Command, investigating fires throughout Queens, the Bronx and northern Manhattan.
The new base supplements the Citywide South Command in Brooklyn where fire marshals are assigned to conduct fire investigations in Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan south of 110th Street.
“This new base is an asset to the field and to the public,” said Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano. “It is great to know that when there is a fire in New York City it will be investigated by the best fire marshals in the world.”
This new base will allow fire marshals to reduce their travel time and dedicate more time to their critical investigative work.
Chief Fire Marshal Louis Garcia said that the increase in manpower and the new command base will enable fire marshals to fully investigate approximately 1,400 more fires citywide each year, leading to an increase in the overall number of arrests.
The additional investigations will help fire marshals determine fire trends, such as the identification of serial arsonists and the misuse of common household items.
“Our marshals will be able to do an even better job now,” said Chief Garcia.
The new Citywide North Command is a three-story, 12,000 square-foot building that includes an interview room, holding cell, kitchen, conference room and office space for fire marshals. It is a recently restored, century-old landmark building that once served as quarters for field officers in the U.S. Army.
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.