Members of the Police, Fire, EMS, and Federal Authorities look at the damage caused by an explosion in the second floor of a two story brick building at the corner of Tibbett Avenue and West 234th Street. As early as of 6 AM there were calls to 911 complaining of an odor of gas. NYFD and NYPD responded and shortly afterwards there was an explosion. NYFD Commissioner Daniel Nigro said that FDNY 19th Battalion Chief Michael J. Fahy was fatally struck with a portion of the building after it exploded.
In all the additional injuries according to Commissioner Nigro were six police officers, three Con Edison workers, two civilians, and nine firefighters. Commissioner Negro added that none of those injuries appeared to be life-threatening.
In response to a reporters question at the hospital where Chief Fahy and others were taken NYPD Police Commissioner James O'Neil that there is now an ongoing investigation as to whether the explosion site was a 'Drug Lab' or 'Grow House for Marijuana'. As for the reason of the explosion, NYPD Commissioner O'Neil said that the FDNY arson squad will be the lead agency on finding out the cause of this explosion. He added that there were no arrests at the time.
Above - A front view of the building where the explosion took place at the corner of Tibbett Avenue and West 234th Street.
Below - A view of the rear of the house where the explosion took place.
The following statement about all flags to fly at half staff was issued by Mayor Bill de Blasio - As a mark of respect for the memory of FDNY Battalion Chief Michael J. Fahy, who lost his life today in the line of duty, all flags shall be flown at half-staff immediately and from sunrise to sunset until interment, by order of the Mayor of the City of New York, Bill de Blasio. This includes all flags—the New York State and City flags, and the POW-MIA flag on all City buildings, as well as stationary flagstaffs throughout the five boroughs.
State Senator Jeff Klein, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, and Councilman Andrew Cohen the elected officials of the explosion area issued the following joint statement - “We extend our deepest condolences to the family of FDNY 19th Battalion Chief Michael Fahy who this morning lost his life heroically serving our district. Fahy bravely and selflessly entered this home despite the danger, and his ultimate sacrifice, his character, and his commitment to this City will be remembered by all of us. He embodies the meaning of ‘The Bravest.’
We also hope for a quick recovery for the firefighters, police officers and civilians who were injured during this devastating explosion that rocked our quiet neighborhood.”