Family, Friends Gather for Second Day of Wake for Firefighter Killed in Bronx House Explosion

NY 1 - October 01, 2016

by NY1 News

Family and friends will gather in Yonkers on Friday for the second day of firefighter Michael Fahy's wake. Fahy, 44, died in Tuesday's gas explosion at a home in The Bronx after debris hit him while he directed firefighters in the street.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro announced Thursday that Fahy was being posthumously promoted from battalion chief to deputy chief. That is the highest civil service promotional achievement in the city fire department.

"He was a rising star. He was on the list to become a deputy chief," Nigro said. "It's something well deserved."

"He was a nice guy. He was in my firehouse," said Steve d'Amato of the FDNY. "He started out as a young kid that you knew was very talented."

Police officials confirmed Thursday that a leak in an illegal gas connection caused the explosion, and that the home was being used to grow marijuana illegally.

The explosion occurred after firefighters responded to reports of a strong gas smell coming from the home on West 234th Street in Kingsbridge. The house was already under investigation by police as a possible "grow house" for marijuana.

Two men allegedly associated with the house have been taken into custody. Garibaldi Castillo is charged with felony marijuana possession, meaning he had more than 10 pounds of the drug. And Julio Salcedo, 34, is expected to be hit with felony marijuana possession as well.

Law enforcement sources tell NY1 that tampering with the gas line would enable a grower to avoid suspicion that a lot of gas is being used and avoid paying a high gas bill.

Detectives are still trying to determine what equipment was in the house.

Fahy's funeral is scheduled for Saturday.