FDNY Chief Michael Fahy Encountered Bronx Drug House Suspect Before Fatal Explosion

NY Daily News - October 02, 2016

by Ross Keith, Leonard Greene

The firefighter who was killed when a Bronx building housing a marijuana factory exploded came face to face with one of the pot-growing perps before a blast leveled the house, prosecutors said.

Suspect Julio Salcedo, 34, tried to make a run for it when firefighters showed up to his Kingsbridge home Tuesday morning on a smell-of-gas call.

But Battalion Chief Michael Fahy stopped Salcedo from starting his car parked in the driveway because the firefighter feared the vehicle’s ignition could trigger an explosion.

The house blew up anyway, but not before Salcedo quietly scampered away on foot.

Fahy, a 44-year-old husband and father of three, was fatally struck by debris from the blast.

Salcedo appeared in court Friday night on charges related to the W. 234th St. pot-growing operation.

The charges could be upgraded to felony assault or murder, said assistant Bronx DA Christine Scaccia.

Salcedo was remanded without bail after a not guilty plea. “Right now there’s no connection between my client and the death of a firefighter,” said Dawn Florio, Salcedo’s lawyer.

“That’s something they’re going to have to prove.”

The courtroom where Salcedo was arraigned was packed with nearly 50 firefighters, most of whom shot angry stares at the suspect. Earlier many of the same firefighters leered at Salcedo as he was walked into a Bronx precinct.

“Burn in hell,” several of the firefighters told him.

Funeral services for Fahy are scheduled for Saturday morning at the Annunciation Church on Westchester Avenue in Yonkers. Fahy, a battalion chief, was posthumously promoted to deputy chief.