A bogus memo released on Tuesday suggested the FDNY in New York would begin housing migrants at fire stations.
The fire department was reportedly inundated with questions about the now-debunked memo, which suggested an “emergency effort” was underway to get them into fire stations as early as Wednesday.
“On Tuesday evening, a letter appearing to be an official internal FDNY document was released claiming that fire stations will be used to house migrants,” FDNY press secretary Amanda Farinacci said in a statement.
‘This is categorically false. The document is a fake and there will be no fire stations used to house migrants,” she added.
A fake memo (pictured) circulated on Tuesday suggesting the FDNY in New York would start housing migrants at fire stations
On Tuesday, hundreds of asylum seekers line up outside the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building
The debunked memo, dated June 6, suggested the mayor had issued an order requiring “the commander of each fire station to immediately contact his battalion and inform him of the number of beds he has available for migrant applicants for asylum”.
He also suggested officers should provide door codes to migrants, sparking outrage on social media in the event of an initial spread.
“At first they were placed at the old NYPD Academy, now they have to be housed at the FDNY fire stations. Talk about a real security risk,” wrote one person who had no doubts about the veracity of the document.
The hoax was delivered in the form of a memo, claiming to be from FDNY Fire Operations Chief John Esposito.
Esposito joined the department in 1991 and was assigned to Engine Company 324 in Queens. Over the next 30 years, he rose through the ranks and was appointed chief fire officer in July 2022.
But in February he tried to resign from his post after Commissioner Laura Kavanagh demoted three chiefs in June, leaving FDNY ranks in turmoil.
The prank was delivered in the form of a memo, claiming to be from FDNY Fire Operations Chief John Esposito (pictured in April)
In February, Esposito tried to resign from his post after Commissioner Laura Kavanagh (pictured in October 2022) demoted three chiefs in June, leaving FDNY ranks in turmoil.
Over the past few months, Adams and his administration have searched everywhere to find temporary shelter for the thousands of migrants streaming into the city. It is estimated that around 72,000 people have arrived in the city since last spring.
The release of the fake letter came after hundreds of asylum seekers lined up outside the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building in lower Manhattan.
Earlier in the day, Mayor Eric Adams suggested that his official residence, Gracie Mansion, was considered a place to welcome migrants.
“I was talking with the staff to see if I could put a few families in Gracie Mansion,” Adams said at an independent press conference on the Upper West Side, the The New York Daily News reported.
“I don’t have a problem if I can put a migrant family in Gracie Mansion because I want to lead from the front. That’s the type of leader I am,” he added.
But he said he must review “legal protocols” before moving the migrants to the Brooklyn mayor’s mansion.
“You know, I can’t use the building as I want,” he explained.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said on Tuesday he was considering housing migrants at his Gracie Mansion residence.
Adams added he must review ‘legal protocols’ before moving the migrants to the mayor’s mansion in Brooklyn (pictured)
An estimated 70,000 migrants have arrived in New York in the past year
The mayor went on to stress that he would not ask the townspeople to make room for migrants if he was prepared to make personal sacrifices.
‘Generals don’t send their troops into battle and ask, ‘How’s the war going?’ he said.
“They lead troops into battle. I am a general who leads my troops into battle. So yes, I am more than willing to use all the space I have to deal with this crisis.
Adams has previously said he wants Gracie Mansion to be “the people’s house” and has held at least three weddings at the house. The main floor of the house is open to the public for limited guided tours.
Gracie Mansion has served as the residence of the city’s mayors since 1942, with some notable exceptions like Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, who were not allowed to move in with their partners.
Only visiting officials and the mayor’s family are allowed to reside in the house – a rule that could prevent the mayor’s suggestion to house the migrants.
On Monday, Adams announced that mosques, churches and other places of worship would aid the city’s efforts to provide shelter for migrants.
He said when the church-based program is fully operational, they hope to be able to accommodate up to 1,000 asylum seekers at a time.