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Rally To Save Ladder 161 Held In Brooklyn

BROOKLYN, NY (CBSNewYork) – Politicians, firefighters and Brooklyn residents rallied Sunday to save Ladder 161, one of the firehouses that could be closed by the city.

There are 20 firehouses on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed closure list as part of Fiscal Year 2012's budget. Since announcing the closure list, there have been dozens of protests around the city, including one that drew nearly 15,000 demonstrators earlier this month.

On Sunday, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Councilman Domenic Recchia, Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and State Senator Diane Savino joined firefighters and residents to protest the closures.

Ladder 161 serves greater Coney Island and Brighton Beach in Brooklyn and is the only firehouse in that area of about 60,000 residents.

Firefighters have warned that closing firehouses could cost lives. In May, Ladder 161 saved a man's life when he became trapped in his burning home on Bayview Avenue.

"Ladder Company 161 is simply too important for the safety and well-being of this neighborhood to be eliminated," said Nadler said in a statement. 

"Even in times of fiscal uncertainty, public safety needs to be our top priority," said Brook-Krasny.

The Mayor's Office has said that fire deaths have reached an all-time low since the last round of firehouse closures in 2003.

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