Explosion in Bronx Kills FDNY Battalion Chief, Injures 12 Others
News| | By Matthew D'Onofrio
A house in the Bronx, suspected to be used for growing marijuana, has exploded, harming firefighters, police officers, Con Edison workers and civilians, as well as killing a firefighter chief.
On Tuesday morning around 7:30 a.m., a Kingsbridge neighborhood house on West 234th St was reported to be leaking gas before its second story exploded, just after firefighters responded and were working to evacuate residents in the area.
“We got men down, with an explosion,” a firefighter told a dispatcher, breathing heavily between sentences. “We got a man down. Firefighter down. Bad shape.”
FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy of Yonkers was that firefighter, whom was directing operations at the scene before getting hit with falling debris according to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
He was rushed to New York Presbyterian Hospital/The Allen Hospital, but doctors were unable to save his life.
“We lost a hero today,” said Nigro in a morning news conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Fahy, a 17-year fire department veteran and father of three, was a rising star according to Nigro like his father before him who also had his position.
— FDNY (@FDNY) September 27, 2016
Fahy, a hero indeed, and the firefighters at the scene were able to safely evacuate the area before the roof collapsed taking his life. Of the 12 others injured, none had life-threatening injuries and several were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment, said officials.
The house was suspected just a few weeks ago of being used to grow marijuana, Police Commissioner James O’Neill said, and fire and police officials say gas was the cause of the blast. If both are true, this is the first explosion from a marijuana drug den in New York City.
However, investigations have not been completed so neither have been confirmed.
Video was taken by neighbor Mariya Pugacheva from her 16th floor apartment window moments after the explosion.