Nigro: Fallen FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy A 'Rising Star'

CBS 2 - September 28, 2016

by CBS News

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said a Bronx battalion chief who was killed in a house explosion was a “rising star” in the department.

Nigro and Mayor Bill de Blasio said Michael Fahy, a 17-year veteran, was a father of three children, ages 6, 8 and 11, and was the son of a fire chief.

“He was on the rise, he was a star, a brave man,” Nigro said. “It’s a terrible loss for the Fahy family, it’s a loss for the fire department family. We feel it deeply. We lost a hero today and our members are all saddened.”

“Our hears go out to the Fahy family,” de Blasio said. “A family that has given so much and today, has made the ultimate sacrifice to this city.”

When news of the chief’s death was confirmed, several firefighters removed American flags from the back of their trucks, CBS2’s Alex Denis reported. One in particular quietly walked down the sidewalk toward the hospital entrance while carefully folding the flag.

“We feel it deeply today,” Nigro said. “We’re thankful for the support of the mayor, the support of the NYPD who transported Chief Fahy here and desperately tried to save him. It’s a sad day.”

At the hospital, fire trucks from multiple fire stations lined the street. Dozens of other first responders and city officials have also arrived.

“I am saddened to hear about the explosion that occurred in the Bronx and the tragic loss of life of the brave FDNY battalion chief,” Congressman Charles Rangel, who represents Upper Manhattan and parts of the Bronx, said in a statement. “We are grateful to our first responders who attended to the initial gas leak and those who are dealing with the aftermath of the explosion. I join my constituents as we keep our neighbors, those injured and their families in our prayers.”

The house and surrounding buildings had been evacuated Tuesday following a gas leak report. Fahy was directing operations from the street when he was struck by falling debris.

Police Commissioner James O’Neill said part of the investigation will involve looking into the location as a possible marijuana “grow house.”

Nigro said there were renters living in the house. Several other firefighters were also hurt, but all are expected to recover.

The last FDNY member to be killed in the line of duty was Lt. Gordon Ambelas, who died while fighting a fire in Brooklyn on July 6, 2014.