CBS 2 - September 27, 2018
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The mayor and fire commissioner were on hand Wednesday as the FDNY dedicated a plaque to Firefighter William Tolley, who fell to his death in the line of duty last spring.
The 14-year veteran plunged five stories while fighting a two-alarm fire at an apartment building in Ridgewood, Queens.
As if on cue, the sun broke through just before the ceremony began at Engine 286 and Ladder 135 in Glendale, CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported.
“When we lost Billy, we were rocked to the core,” said FDNY Capt. Richard Blasi, commanding officer of Ladder 135. “What I saw in those few heart wrenching hours, is you guys started coming together. You found solance in each other to give you the strength to move on.”
Tolley left behind a wife, Marie, and 8-year-old daughter, Isabella. The 42-year-old is remembered as a husband, father, volunteer and talented drummer in a heavy metal band.
“Thank you for remembering my husband, my family, completely. We’ll never forget this, and it’s nice to know that he’s watching over this firehouse and over this community forever,” his widow said Wednesday.
The plaque will be a constant reminder of his selflessness and sacrifice. A large stone with the code 5-5-5, which signifies firefighter fallen, will stand in his place within the walls of the firehouse. 66th Place was also renamed in Tolley’s honor.