Battalion Chief Considered 'Rising Star' of FDNY Killed in Bronx House Explosion

NY 1 - September 28, 2016

by Roger Clark

BRONX, N.Y. - A New York City firefighter was killed Tuesday morning on the scene of a gas explosion that rocked the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx.

Fire officials have identified the firefighter as Battalion 19 Chief Michael Fahy, a 17-year veteran of the department.

Officials say crews were first called to the scene around 6:22 a.m. at 305 West 234th Street to investigate a report of a gas leak.

The explosion happened about an hour later inside the two-story home.

It's still unclear what caused it.

Fire officials say Fahy was struck by the debris while coordinating the response outside.

He was transported to New York Presbyterian The Allen Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Speaking to reporters at the hospital, Mayor Bill de Blasio Tuesday's events are a reminder of the dangers first responders face on a daily basis.

Fahy, who was promoted to Battalion Chief in 2012, leaves behind a wife and three children.

The mayor has ordered all flags at city buildings to be flown at half-staff in his honor.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said he was one of the department's "rising stars" and says his death is a deep loss for the city.

"It's not just a loss, it's a terrible loss for the family, for the Fahy family. It's a loss for the fire department family. We are a family. We feel it deeply, we feel it deeply today," Nigro added.

The NYPD says fire officials called police to the scene when they came across something suspicious.

Police say they have been looking at investigating possible drug activity in the area.

"A couple of weeks ago we had information we received and we were in the initial stages of an investigation on that block, so that's gonna part of the ongoing investigation, as a possible drug lab, as a possible grow house," said NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill.

Fire officials say nine other firefighters suffered minor injuries as well as six NYPD officers, two civilians and three Con Ed workers.

All were transported to area hospitals.

New York City Emergency Management says drivers should expect traffic delays and road closures in the area.