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Rep. Israel backs fire sprinkler bill

A file photo of Congressman Steve Israel at

A file photo of Congressman Steve Israel at the Old Westbury Country Club in Old Westbury. (March 24, 2011) Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills) said Monday that he was becoming co-sponsor of federal legislation that would provide tax incentives for installing fire sprinklers in buildings where they are not currently required.

"Making it easier for property owners to install automatic fire sprinklers is common sense and a policy we can all agree on," Israel said at a news conference at the Commack Fire Department with the family of Kerry Fitzsimons of Commack, one of three students who died Jan. 21 in an early morning fire at a Poughkeepsie home rented by six Marist College students.

The Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act, introduced last May, would allow property owners to write off the cost of installation over a five-year period rather than the current 25 to 39 years, Israel said.

Israel said he would become the 39th sponsor of the bill in the 435-member House of Representatives. A companion measure in the U.S. Senate has the official support of six if its 100 members. The bill was referred to committee last May.

Fitzsimons' cousin Taylor Prodromakis, 22, of Commack, said her family supports the bill.

"I miss my cousin Kerry terribly, and it's important that people take fire sprinklers seriously," Prodromakis said. "They save lives . . ."

Fitzsimons' parents were in attendance but did not comment.

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