Wake held for FDNY battalion chief killed in line of duty in Bronx house explosion

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Marcus Solis has the latest details.

Mourners gathered to remember the FDNY battalion chief killed in the line of duty in Tuesday's house explosion in the Bronx.

A wake for Michael Fahy is being held Thursday and Friday at Flower Funeral Home in Yonkers.

His funeral is scheduled for Saturday at 11 a.m. at Annunciation Church in Yonkers.

The sea of mourners barely fit in the parking lot, with an overflow crowd that included firefighters in their dress blues along with others waiting to pay their respects.

Fahy, of Battalion 19, died when he was struck by debris from the blast in the Bronx. He was a 17-year veteran of the FDNY, joining in 1999.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro Thursday announced the posthumous promotion of Fahy to the rank of Deputy Chief, the highest civil service promotional achievement in the FDNY.

"He was on the list to become Deputy Chief, it's something well-deserved," said Nigro. "I have no doubt that in a number of years Chief Fahy would have led this department."

"Chief Michael Fahy was a very talented member of the FDNY who died protecting and serving our great city," said Mayor de Blasio. "His career was remarkable both for his selfless devotion to duty and his meteoric ascension in rank, which continues today with this deserved promotion to Deputy Chief in the FDNY."

Fahy was killed when a piece of roof hit him while firefighters were investigating the smell of gas.

Police say the home in Kingsbridge was a marijuana grow house, the scope of which is now emerging.

At a court appearance for Garibaldi Castillo, prosecutors said there were pot plants the size of small trees in the home which was packed with barrels of liquid fertilizer, allegedly transported in a van.

Police say Castillo ditched his cell phone the day of the explosion and had keys to the house.

Meantime the first suspect arrested, Julio Salcedo Contrer, also appeared in court, waiving extradition from New Jersey.

Back in Yonkers only heartbreak for the brotherhood of firefighters and for Chief Fahy's family.

"To lose Mike it's like getting stabbed, you know what I mean," said retired FDNY captain Stephen Damato. "You have this pain in your heart that just doesn't go away."

Chief Fahy was appointed as a firefighter in August of 1999 and was assigned to Engine Company 35 in Harlem where he worked for five years before transferring to Ladder 14, located in the same firehouse.

In 2004, he was promoted to Lieutenant and was assigned to Battalion 3 in the Bronx, before being assigned to Engine 83 in the South Bronx.

Upon his promotion to Captain in 2007, he was transferred to Division 1 in lower Manhattan, where he worked in multiple fire companies. After being promoted to Battalion Chief, he first worked in Battalion 20 in the Bronx before transferring to Battalion 19.

Chief Fahy is the 1,145th Firefighter to die in the line of duty since the FDNY's founding in 1865. The last member of the Department to die on duty was Lieutenant Gordan M. Ambelas of Ladder 119 on July 5, 2014.

Fahy and his family received a FDNY and NYPD escort from Allen Pavilion Hospital.

Mayor de Blasio has also ordered all flags across the city to fly at half-staff until Chief Fahy is buried.

Fahy followed in the footsteps of his father, Thomas Fahy, who was also a battalion chief with the FDNY. He retired in November 2001.

Michael Fahy is survived by his wife, Fiona, and their three children.
Related Topics:
newsfdnyfirefighter killedexplosionKingsbridgeNew York City
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