Hero Fireman Gave Up Lucrative Lawyer Gig to Follow in Dad’s Footsteps

NY Post - October 01, 2016

by Lorena Mongelli, Shawn Cohen and Gillian Kleiman

He gave up millions to follow his dad’s path to the FDNY. The battalion chief killed in a Bronx drug-house explosion this week was a corporate lawyer making a comfortable six figures when he abruptly quit that life and joined the FDNY, relatives told The Post on Thursday.

“He was an amazing, amazing man,” said Michael Fahy’s sister-in-law, Deirdre Brett.

Fahy earned his law license in 2000 after graduating from New York Law School, but the father of three worked just nine months at the prestigious Proskauer Rose firm when he decided to chuck the high salary to become a firefighter, just like his dad.

His father, Thomas Fahy, also a battalion chief, served 33 years on the job before retiring.

Fahy “never regretted [the decision] a day in his life,” Brett said.

Fahy’s wake Thursday in Westchester was crowded with mourners who praised the 44-year-old for his service to the city and his family.

His wife, Fiona Brett, a lawyer with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, wept as mourners filed past his closed casket, which was somberly decorated with a photo of Fahy in his dress uniform in front of an American flag, his battalion- chief helmet and a gold cross.

“I loved him,” she said, tears spilling down her face. Thomas Fahy remained quiet at her side.

Retired firefighter Stephen Damato said Fahy’s legal experience helped him rise through the ranks at the FDNY, which posthumously promoted him to deputy chief.

“It’s like losing a son,” said Damato. “It’s like getting stabbed.”

Meanwhile, Garivaldi Castillo, one of two suspects connected to the grow house inside an apartment on West 234th Street, was arraigned Thursday in Bronx court on marijuana possession charges.

Prosecutors said there was 10 pounds of weed in the home.

Investigators have said Fahy and his team were among the dozens of first responders who rushed to the address for a gas leak. The whole house ended up exploding an hour after they got there.

Fahy was killed when the roof fell on him.

Castillo’s lawyer, Francisco Serrano, called the case a “fishing expedition” — arguing the gas leak could have come from any of the units in the building.

A second suspect, Julio Salcedo, 34, was nabbed Tuesday at his girlfriend’s house in New Jersey.