Leonia discusses removal of nearly half of firefighters as part of child assault investigation

Volunteer firefighters at a Bergen County firehouse could be getting the boot after an alleged incident of child assault. (3/3/14)

LEONIA - Volunteer firefighters at a Bergen County firehouse could be getting the boot after an alleged incident of child assault.

Officials met to discuss the possible removal of nearly half of the force at the Leonia firehouse, including many high-ranking officials and the firehouse chief.

An investigation into an incident last year, when a 3-year-old boy was molested during a social event at the firehouse, revealed that some of the firefighters had criminal records.

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Authorities say many of the firefighters have already been let go on technicalities.

"We're concerned about the loss of manpower," says firehouse president Brendan Reilly. "Many senior members, seasoned members, just because they couldn't get their physical or some minor issue."

The borough has decided to grant an extension for the volunteers. 

The mayor declined to comment tonight while the case is under investigation.

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