YONKERS, N.Y. — Thousands of mourners, most of them firefighters, turned out Saturday to say their final goodbyes to FDNY Deputy Chief Michael Fahy.
Forming a mile-long line, firefighters raised their hands in one last salute to the 44-year-old married father of three young children.
His tearful wife Fiona, and two of their children, spoke to mourners in the packed pews inside the Annunciation Church in Yonkers, where the family lives.
“Everything he did, he did with grace and humility,” said Fahy’s widow.
“I know you were proud of me, and I’m so proud of you,” said Fahy’s namesake son Michael.
His sister Anna described their battalion chief dad as a man of many talents.
“He was also a great athlete, cook musician and very brave.”
Mayor de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro addressed the crowd too.
“His chosen work, his life’s work, was to protect others, to risk his life, and that was true day-in and day-out,” said a solemn Mayor de Blasio.
Fahy, the chief of Battalion 19, was killed Tuesday when he was struck by falling debris from an explosion that blew apart a suspected marijuana grow house in the Bronx.
The 17-year FDNY veteran and his squad were responding to a reported gas leak on West 234th Street not long before the house exploded.
Two men were arrested in connection with the blast. Firefighters have been pushing for homicide charges.
“It’s tragic, and it’s felt throughout the nation,” said firefighter Chris Bruno who came all the way from California to pay his respects.
Fahey had been a lawyer, and gave up the career to live a life of service. He followed in the footsteps of his father, who also served as a chief in the fire department.
“(He was) just the kind of person you’d like to be,” said retired chief Gary Connelly, who had worked with Fahy. “(He) always had a smile on his face, super dedicated to his family and to the department and to the community.”