Investigators Remain on Scene of Bronx House Explosion that Killed FDNY Battalion Chief

CBS 2 - September 29, 2016

by CBS News

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An investigation is underway in what sparked an explosion at a house in the Bronx that killed an FDNY battalion chief.

Police said they are questioning a person of interest in connection with the explosion, which happened Tuesday morning at a home on West 234th Street in what investigators say appeared to be a marijuana grow house.

Investigators worked into the night, collecting bags of evidence at the decimated house where FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy lost his life.

Fahy and several fire units responded to calls of a gas odor at the house around 6:20 a.m. Tuesday. He was on the scene for about an hour, directing operations from the street, when the FDNY said the two-story home exploded.

Fahy was hit and killed by flying debris.

The blast shook the area, exposing what police believe was a possible marijuana farm on the second floor. The man in custody was renting that second floor and fled the scene as firefighters arrived but was later found. He has not been charged.

The deadly scene has left many people angry in the neighborhood.

“I think it’s so damn selfish of people who do this stuff,” said resident Mary Yuelys. “Put others at risk, innocent people trying to do their jobs.”

On Tuesday, heartbroken firefighters saluted as Fahy’s remains left the hospital. The 17-year veteran was described as a “rising star” in the department and a dedicated family man who was married with three young children.

At the Fahy home in Yonkers, a steady stream of mourners paid their respects.

“He was just a wonderful neighbor as you know him over the years with his children, his wife,” neighbor Jackie Sutton said. “A pleasant, pleasant good man.”

A donation page has been set for the Fahy family. If you’d like to donate, visit fdnyfoundation.org/donate and select the “Chief Michael J. Fahy Children’s Educational Fund.”

In honor of Fahy, bunting will be placed outside the 19th battalion fire house in the Fordham Heights section. Mayor Bill de Blasio will attend the ceremony along with Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro and others.