Bronx News
Sep 28, 2016

BRONX NEWS: FDNY honors Mike Fahy, chief killed in Bronx drug house explosion

Fallen FDNY Battalion Chief Mike Fahy was remembered Wednesday as the ultimate family man, friend, firefighter.

Holding back tears, fellow smoke-eaters paid tribute to Fahy, 44, after a solemn ceremony at his Bronx firehouse.

“Mike Fahy is the nicest guy out of all the nice guys anyone has ever known,” said Capt. Brendan Deehan, of Engine 47, who met Fahy 17 years ago.

“Professional, sharp, witty, family man, loved his wife more than anything, loved his kids more than anything, coached as many teams as he could possibly squeeze in.”

Bronx marijuana grow house explosion kills fire chief, injures 20

“Firefighters loved him,” Deehan added. “Loved to see him walk through the front doors because he was a pleasure to work with, because he was professional. He had a calm demeanor.”

More than 200 firefighters packed into Battalion 19 headquarters, draped in purple and black blunting, a day after Fahy was killed by flying debris when an explosion obliterated a Bronx drug house.

The ceremony ended with the firefighters giving an emotional salute as bagpipers played “Amazing Grace.”

Lt. JonPaul Augier, of Ladder Company 1, described Fahy as a “brilliant guy” who “graduated at the top of his class from New York Law School.”

FDNY mourns Michael Fahy, battalion chief killed in Bronx blast

“He passed the (New) Jersey and New York State bar exam in the same (month),” Augier said.

But Fahy also knew how to have a good time.

“At 3′o clock in the morning after coming back from an alarm, Mike Fahy would break out the guitar,” Augier recalled. “He’d sing to us, play the guitar, jam a little bit.”

The 17-year FDNY veteran was killed Tuesday morning while responding to a report of a gas leak at a home on W. 234th St. in Kingsbridge.

Fahy was directing operations in the middle of the street when the house exploded — spewing into the air bricks, glass, roof shingles and pot plants, authorities said.

A section of roof slammed into Fahy, causing grievous injuries to his head and chest.

An NYPD van rushed the mortally-wounded battalion chief to New York Presbyterian/Allen Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Another 20 people — including nine firefighters and six police officers — suffered minor injuries, authorities said.

A high-ranking utility source said the pot-filled house blew up as four Con Edison workers were shutting a valve in the basement after the FDNY already turned off the gas line on the street.

The source said investigators had yet to identify an illegal gas line inside the house where marijuana was growing in the basement and a second-floor bedroom.

Sources said the blast could have been caused by a leaky hose running to the second floor or by a defective propane tank used as part of a generator to power the lights and watering equipment.

Investigators feared that crucial evidence might have been destroyed in the explosion, sources said.

A suspect — identified as Julio Salcedo, 34 — was arrested Tuesday afternoon at his girlfriend’s home in Cliffside Park, N.J.

Surveillance video shows Salcedo, minutes before the explosion, talking to firefighters at the scene and then walking off.

NYPD investigators were grilling Salcedo Wednesday at a New Jersey lockup.

The rental property where he lived was already on the NYPD’s radar as a potential drug spot after it received a tip two weeks ago, cops said.

Fahy, whose father Thomas was a decorated FDNY battalion chief, became the first firefighter killed in the line of duty since 2014.

“Having to be one of the people to tell his wife, to tell his parents, was extraordinarily painful,” Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday.

“It was very, very painful all around. We are devoted to getting everyone who was involved, and I’m very certain we will. Lot of effort is going to be put into finding everyone and anyone associated with that location and bringing them to justice.” 

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FDNY honors Mike Fahy, chief killed in Bronx drug house explosion

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