KINGSBRIDGE, Bronx (WABC) --An FDNY battalion chief who was killed in a Bronx explosion that also injured nine other firefighters and six police officers was honored Wednesday.
Chief Michael Fahy, a 17-year fire department veteran and father of three, was killed by falling debris on Tuesday morning while directing operations from the street. He was supervising an evacuation following a report of a gas leak at a building authorities believe was being used to grow marijuana.
"I can say he died doing what he loved doing and following a family tradition, a very noble tradition," said de Blasio. "Our fire department stands by every family when there is a loss, stay with them literally throughout the lives of the children and support them all the way through."
Fahy was remembered by his superiors as everything they could have wanted in a chief -- cool, calm and collected in every emergency. They said he was one of the guys who got along with everyone, but all who worked with him also knew he was the boss. He was a graduate of New York Law School who could have worked in any field of his choosing.
"He was a brilliant guy," friend Lieutenant John Paul Augier said. "He graduated at the top of his class...He passed the New Jersey and New York state bar exam the same month."
But friends say he called working for the FDNY "a more honorable profession," and he had a distinguished 17 year career that actually started off with a bit bump in the road.
"He was passed over because he was in school, for appointment," Augier said. "He wrote a letter to the Fire Department asking to be added back to the list, and they did."
A look at the ceremony:
Julio Salcedo Contrer is being held in a Bergen County Jail on fugitive charges in connection with Fahy's death. Investigators say they have linked the 34-year-old to the second-floor marijuana grow operation in the home that exploded Tuesday in Kingsbridge. Bunting went up Wednesday morning at Battalion 19 in the Fordham section, where the 44-year-old Fahy worked for the last three years.
"Three o'clock in the morning, when you come back from a run, sit down, and Mike Fahy would break out the guitar and start to play something," Augier said. "He'd sing a little bit."
Friends say Fahy strived to be the best husband and father, coaching baseball and soccer, and who friends say loved his wife and kids more than anything.
"I know everybody here feels terrible that his three children will have to grow up without him," Battalion 19 Chief Mike Woods said.
Wakes will be held at the Flower Funeral Home, located at 714 Yonkers Avenue in Yonkers, on Thursday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Friday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Funeral services will be held at Annunciation Church, located at 470 Westchester Avenue in Yonkers, on Saturday at 11 a.m.
PHOTOS: Explosion in the Bronx