An FDNY battalion chief was killed and twenty other people were injured after a building exploded in the Bronx on Tuesday morning.
Michael Fahy, the battalion chief, was one of the firefighters responding to a call of a reported gas leak on West 234th Street in the Kingsbridge neighborhood at around 7:30 a.m., according to a fire department spokesperson. While investigating the leak, firefighters discovered a marijuana grow house and called police; shortly afterward, the building exploded. A piece of the building from the blast fatally struck Fahy, who was rushed to New York Presbyterian Allen Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Fahy was a seventeen-year FDNY veteran and father of three, said Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press conference Tuesday.
— FDNY (@FDNY) September 27, 2016
Fahy was described as one of the department’s “rising stars” by FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
“Our members were investigating an odor of gas and he was directing operations,” Nigro told reporters. “They evacuated the surrounding buildings, got everyone else out of the way, when the explosion occurred.”
Those injured in the explosion include nine firefighters, six police officers, three Con Ed workers, and two civilians, authorities said.
An entire roof level of the two-story house collapsed in the explosion, shaking nearby buildings. Images show the residence reduced to rubble, which scattered through the street and into vehicles, prompting road closures and traffic delays in the area.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said police received a tip two weeks ago regarding the block where the blast occurred as a “possible marijuana grow house,” but refused to elaborate on the information. There have been no arrests made at this time.
Update, 4:30 p.m.: Julio Salcedo, the man residing in the house where the explosion occurred in the Bronx, was arrested in Cliffside Park, New Jersey by the Regional Fugitive Task Force, the Post reports.