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Milwaukee Alderman Wants Funding Restored For Fire House


MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - A Milwaukee alderman says he’ll try to restore funding for a firehouse in a neighborhood where a man died in a weekend blaze. The station lost one of its 2 main companies in late December due to budget cuts. But Alderman Bob Donovan could not say it was why the unidentified man died in Saturday’s fire, which occurred on the second floor of a north side home. He and fire union chief David Saeger said the ladder company would have immediately searched the home for victims. As it was, it took an engine company 3 minutes to respond – and they started attacking the flames right away. A downtown ladder unit responded 3 minutes later. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Mayor Tom Barrett and the Common Council ordered the spending cuts, but they let the Fire Department decide what to drop. Donovan and Saeger also took issue with closing 3 companies a month on a rotating basis around the city. Donovan wants funding restored to keep those companies open. And Acting Fire Chief Michael Jones took steps last week to hire more firefighters and reduce the temporary closings. But he disputes the notion that Milwaukee is not getting good fire protection. Jones said he used a computer program to assure that the cuts would not hurt response times city-wide.