Yonkers fire union officials probe manpower allocation

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Yonkers fire union officials are looking into whether too much manpower assigned to fighting one fire in the city Thursday may have taken away resources from battling another.

Fire inspectors were back at 1177 Warburton Ave. Friday, a day after a raging inferno ripped through the building under construction. The amount of manpower allocated to that fire now has fire union officials concerned that it may have hindered battling another fire on William Street. That fire claimed the life of Aida Santiago, 54.

"It was a very, very, severe delay," says Yonkers Assistant Chief John Flynn. "In fact, the first ladder company which is charged with search and rescue came from New Rochelle."

A spokeswoman for the city of Yonkers said in a statement, "We are fortunate that our taxpayers have invested in a department that has one of the highest number of firefighters per capita in New York state. Nonetheless, we will continue to evaluate our staffing standards and make changes should they be needed."

Flynn says the department needs more firefighters before another fatal tragedy.

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