A North Rockland High School grad and Yonkers resident who served as a New York City Fire Department battalion chief was killed Tuesday when a home in the Bronx with a marijuana-growing operation exploded, according to the FDNY.
Michael Fahy, 44, was killed when firefighters responded to the home at 300 W. 234th St. after someone reported a gas leak. Twenty others were injured.
When firefighters entered the home they found what looked like a drug laboratory and called for police back-up. Police and firefighters were standing outside while they waited for Con Edison when the house exploded, sending a large chunk of the roof flying into the air, hitting Fahy's head, reported the New York Post.
He was rushed to nearby New York Presbyterian Hospital - The Allen Hospital in a police car, but died during treatment, officials said.
Six police officers and nine other firefighters also received non-life threatening injuries, said the New York Post.
New York Mayor de Blasio said at a press conference at the hospital that Fahy, a married father of three who had been a firefighter for 17 years, had a bright future.
“He was a devoted father of three – a good man,” de Blasio said. “We just spent time with his wife and with his parents here at the hospital and saw the unspeakable pain when they were told formally that they had lost Michael. Our hearts go out to the Fahy family — a family so devoted to the city, Michael’s father was fire chief before him. A family that gave so much and today made the ultimate sacrifice to the city.”
Fahy’s father retired as a battalion chief after 33 years on the force. Fahy was promoted to lieutenant in 2004, captain in 2007 and battalion chief in 2012, the Post said.
The sole resident of the house had gotten out when firefighters arrived to check for the gas leak, the New York Post reported. Neighbors had also been evacuated.
Officials from Westchester and Rockland also released immediate statements expressing condolences.
“It’s always difficult to grasp the passing of a hero, especially when he’s one of our own," Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino said in a statement. "Today, FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy of Yonkers died in the line of duty. We send our prayers to his wife, Fiona, and his entire family, and hope his three children somehow find comfort in knowing their dad died protecting others.”
Rockland County Government also released a statement on Fahy's death.
"A son of Rockland was killed in the line of duty today serving with the FDNY," it said. "The entire county grieves along with the family of Michael Fahy, who grew up in North Rockland. Our thoughts, prayers and love are with them."
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