FDNY Mourns Loss of Michael Fahy, Battalion Chief Killed in Bronx Drug-Lab Explosion

NY Daily News - September 28, 2016

by Edgar Sandoval, Ginger Adams Otis

The beloved battalion chief who died Tuesday after a Bronx residence exploded was a second-generation firefighter and father of three, FDNY officials said.

Michael Fahy, 44, battalion chief of the 19th Division, was killed by falling debris as he and his crew evacuated a house at W. 234th St. near Irwin Ave.

“It is with deep regret that FDNY announces the line of duty death of FDNY Battalion Chief Michael J. Fahy, Battalion 19,” the FDNY posted on its Facebook page.

Fahy is the married father of three children, two sons and a daughter, all between the ages of 6 and 11 years old, Mayor de Blasio said at a press conference after the disaster. He was “a very devoted father,” the mayor said.

A 17-year veteran, Fahy joined the FDNY in 1999, following in the footsteps of his father, retired Battalion Chief Tom Fahy.

Tom Fahy served the FDNY for 33 years and retired in 2001.

He was at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital with his wife and his son’s wife when word came that Michael Fahy was gone, de Blasio said. “(We) saw the unspeakable pain when they were told formally they had lost Michael. It is a reminder of the dangers that our first responders face every day, the dangers that the men and women of the FDNY face and the bravery with which they do their job,” the mayor said. The younger Fahy was considered a “rising star” in the FDNY, said Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, who had served with Fahy’s dad.

“We lost a hero today and our members are all saddened,” Nigro said.

Fahy made lieutenant in 2004, was promoted to captain in 2007 and battalion chief in 2012.

Outside Fahy’s home in Tuckahoe, N.Y., a line of NYPD and FDNY vehicles stood sentry Tuesday.

Fahy and his crew were among the dozens of first responders who went to the W. 234th St. address for a gas leak at 6:22 a.m.

The battalion chief and a group of Emergency Services Unit cops had just exited the building at 7:30 a.m. when it exploded — blowing the roof right off the building and raining debris onto the streets and houses below.

Battalion Chief Fahy was struck and killed by parts of the roof that fell on him, Commissioner Nigro said. “He was struck on the head and various other parts of his body,” Nigro said.

He was rushed to the closest hospital but doctors were unable to save him.

Firefighters at Fahy’s battalion at 2175 Walton Ave. planned to honor him with an event Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.