Firefighter dies in NYC house blast after report of gas leak

Salcedo had been renting the Bronx house that exploded as an odor of gas was being investigated on Tuesday, the New York Daily News reported.

Twelve firefighters were injured in the explosion and a battalion chief was killed, officials said.

A New York City firefighter was killed and more than a dozen first responders were injured Tuesday in an explosion while responding to a report of a gas leak at a Bronx residence, local reports said.

The bunting now hangs on the 19th battalion firehouse on Walton Avenue where FDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy served.

Julio Salcedo Contrer, 34, is now being held as a fugitive from justice at Bergen County Jail after being arrested at his girlfriend's apartment on Walker Street in New Jersey's Cliffside Park on Tuesday, according to the Bergen County Sheriff's office.

At least 20 others were injured in the blast, including Con Edison workers, firefighters and police officers.

Fahy's father was a decorated battalion chief in the New York Fire Department, and Fahy himself was described as a rising star in the department. "We lost a hero today and our members are all saddened".

Bonifas said that the house, which was recently owned by a doctor and his daughter, had new tenants that let the yard grow unruly, although no other suspicious activity was noted from the suspected drug lab. When they were evacuating the house, an explosion went off.

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Fahy was a second-generation firefighter, Nigro said. He was a 17-year veteran of the department. It tore off the building's roof and hurled pieces of wood and brick into the street. "We were in the initial stages of an investigation on that block", Police Commissioner James O'Neill said.

Witnesses said they heard a loud boom and felt the house shake.

Speaking at Allen Hospital today, de Blasio called the tragedy "a very sad day for our city" and said that his family "has given so much and today made the ultimate sacrifice to the city".

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.

The building where Chief Fahy was killed.

Meanwhile, investigators were still trying to track down everyone who lived in the building, he said. Authorities said firefighters responded to a report of a gas leak right before the house exploded.

The explosion and its aftermath shook the surrounding area and destroyed the house.

  • Sidney Guerrero