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Liu aids firehouse upgrade

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The building that houses Engine Company 273 and Ladder Company 129 on Union Street in Flushing may be approaching its centennial anniversary, but City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) took a major step last week to make sure it does not look its age.

Liu joined firefighters Friday morning to announce that he has secured $775,000 for renovation and expansion of the nearly 100-year-old firehouse, which will celebrate a century of service next month.

"The centennial is fast approaching and the $775,000 renovation fund I secured through the City Council will help our firehouse meet the needs of our community for the next 100 years," Liu said. "Downtown Flushing, which is the area served directly by Engine Company 273 and Ladder Company 129, is growing by leaps and bounds and the major renovations will create a 21st century firehouse for Flushing."

The firehouse will officially celebrate its 100th year at 11 a.m. Oct. 22, where in addition to more upbeat festivities firefighters will also dedicate two line of duty plaques commemorating fallen comrades.

Firefighter Larry Parker, who is coordinating the centennial celebration, said the grant obtained by Liu will largely be put toward securing space for the house's members to conduct training exercises.

"The entire firehouse is so grateful for the continued support that Councilman Liu has shown us. The upcoming renovations will help the fire companies prepare better for the ever-changing landscape of Flushing," Parker said. "The cramped quarters that the companies reside in allow really no areas to train and store equipment for training scenarios. Through funding that Councilman Liu secured, we will be able to designate an area for training and drills, thus making us better prepared to protect the life and property of the people of Flushing."

Liu also received praise from FDNY Commissioner Nicholas Scopetta, who said community support is integral in sustaining fire protection.

"Council member Liu and the residents of Flushing's commitment to the members of Engine 273 and Ladder 129 is extraordinary, and will help generations of firefighters continue their solemn pledge to protect life and property," Scopetta said in a statement.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, ext. 138.

Posted 6:38 pm, October 10, 2011
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