NYC Firefighter killed in explosion of suspected drug lab

Google Map of the Bronx borough of New York City

The firefighter who was killed has been identified as Battalion Chief Michael J. Fahy, a 17-year veteran of the department, officials said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Police then arrived, and evacuated people from the surrounding houses, but before they could assess the situation, the house exploded at about 7:30 a.m.

Debris from a house explosion is cordoned off in the middle of the street as emergency service personnel work at the scene, Tuesday, September 27, 2016, in the Bronx borough of NY.

Fahy was overseeing operations from the street when he was hit by falling debris from the gas explosion, which left nine other firefighters, six NYPD officers, three Con Edison workers, and two civilians with non-life threatening injuries.

Fahy is survived by his wife and three children. His father, also a battalion chief, served 33 years on the job before retiring. 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.

"It's a awful loss for the Fahy family", Nigro, who knew Fahy's father, also a fire chief, told reporters at the hospital.

Speaking at the press conference, Nigro said the last firefighter killed in the line of duty was Lieutenant Matt Ambelas in 2014. "He was a star", said Mr. Nigro.

The explosion rocked an area of row houses in the Kingsbridge neighborhood.

Salcedo was spotted on surveillance video leaving the home Tuesday morning before the explosion. The commissioner called Fahy's death a "terrible loss not just for the Fahy family, but the fire department family".

The explosion occurred about an hour after authorities arrived, with Fahy standing on the street outside the home.

Police Commissioner James O'Neill said part of the investigation will involve looking into the location as a possible marijuana "grow house".

The source added that ConEd had turned off gas to the home when officials initially responded to the report of odor.

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