NEW YORK — A New York firefighter died and 12 other people, including police officers and firefighters, were hurt after a home exploded in the Bronx Tuesday morning.
The home may have been part of a drug operation, authorities said. The explosion happened around 7:30 a.m. at 304 W. 234th St. in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx. The blast sent pieces of the building flying, covering the road and several vehicles. Residents reported hearing a loud "boom" when the explosion occurred.
4 Fast Facts
- FDNY battalion chief killed after house explosion in New York
- He was directing traffic when the blast occurred
- The man leaves behind a wife and three children
- 12 other people were hurt during the explosion
The FDNY firefighter was identified as Michael J. Fahy, a battalion chief and father of three. He was a 17-year veteran of the department.
According to WPIX, debris from the roof hit Fahy in the head and other parts of his body. He was directing traffic away from the area at the time.
Fahy leaves behind his wife and three children, ages 6, 8 and 11.
FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro described Fahy as a "rising star" and said the department lost a "brave man" after Tuesday's explosion. Mayor Bill de Blasio called Fahy's death a “very sad day for our city.”
Six police officers, two civilians, two utility workers and several firefighters were also hurt during the blast. The cause of the explosion was unclear. Officials initially believed it was a gas leak, but a detective at the scene and emergency responders reported seeing a possible meth lab inside the home.
Police said they were investigating a possible marijuana grow house on the block just weeks before the explosion.