Suspect Who Rented Apartment that Exploded will at Least Face Drug Charges

NY Post - September 30, 2016

by Tina Moore, Stephanie Pagones and Shawn Cohen

The man arrested in connection with the Bronx marijuana-grow-house explosion that killed an FDNY battalion chief will at the very least face heavy drug charges when he is returned to the city, law-enforcement sources said Wednesday.

Julio Salcedo, who was renting the West 234th Street home that blew up Tuesday as firefighters were investigating a gas leak, was being held at the Bergen County, NJ, Jail as a fugitive from justice.

When he’s extradited back to the Big Apple, he’ll be slapped with two pot-possession charges, law-enforcement sources said.

Battalion Chief Michael Fahy was fatally struck in the head and chest by a piece of the home’s roof that had blown off, and 20 others suffered injuries when debris rained down.

Wednesday morning, the fallen firefighter, considered a rising star in the department, was honored by his fellow Bravest in a somber bunting ceremony.

“Mike Fahy was the nicest guy out of all the nice guys anyone has ever met,” said his friend, Capt. Brendan Deehan.

About 150 firefighters gathered at Battalion 19, where purple and black bunting was hung on the building to mourn Fahy.

Battalion 19 Cmdr. Brian Fink said Fahy was cool as a cucumber even in the most stressful situations, and recalled his hero pal’s bravery during an apartment-building blaze several years ago.

“The whole top floor was gone, and he was a newly promoted chief ­officer,” Fink said.

“He was the most cool, calm, collected guy you’d ever heard on the radio. He just ran the fire like he’d been doing it all his life.”

On Tuesday, Salcedo, 34, was still at the Bronx home when firefighters showed up to check on the gas problem. He spoke to first responders but then slipped away at some point, sources said.

Salcedo, who has at least five prior arrests, was picked up Tuesday night at his girlfriend’s home in Cliffside Park, NJ, on a charge of driving without a license, sources said.

Police are investigating whether he ran the pot operation or was working for someone else, sources said.

Fahy’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday at Annunciation-Our Lady of ­Fatima Parish in Crestwood, Westchester.