NEW YORK — When firefighter Michael Fahy was killed in the line of duty, a local nonprofit reached out to his widow and offered to pay off the mortgage for the family home. But instead, the mother of three wants "to raise funds for another hero in his name."
Fiona Fahy said in a news conference Thursday that she wanted those wishing to honor her late husband to donate to the Tunnel To Towers Foundation that builds homes for wounded veterans. It was first established in memory of firefighter Stephen Siller, who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Donating to the cause would "make something good out of something terrible that happened," Fahy said.
We believe that it would be fitting tribute to our Mike to raise funds for another hero in his name," Fahy said while holding back tears.
Battalion chief Michael Fahy, a 17-year veteran of the FDNY, was killed by flying debris from a house explosion. Authorities are still looking into what caused the blast, but two men have been charged in connection with Fahy's death.
Fiona Fahy said shortly after her husband's death, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation's organizers reached out to her and offered to help raise funds that would pay off her house mortgage.
But Fahy said just days before the firefighter died, he was struck by a documentary that highlight the nonprofit's effort, and had expressed interest in helping the foundation.
"Michael wanted to support the work of the (foundation)," Fahy said Thursday. "After we saw it he said, 'This should be our family service project. This should be an organization we support with our kids.'"
The money raised will go toward helping to build "smart homes," high-tech houses for service members that have been injured in the war, the foundation says.
Those who want to contribute to the cause can donate through the Tunnel to Towers Foundation's website.