The FDNY suffered its first in-the-line-of-duty death in more than two years Tuesday when a suspected drug lab exploded in the Bronx, killing a battalion chief, the New York Daily News reports. According to WPIX, Michael Fahy was directing traffic away from a two-story house where someone had reported a possible gas leak when it exploded. Pieces of the house's roof struck Fahy in the head. "He was a star," WNBC quotes FDNY commissioner Daniel Nigro as saying. "We lost a hero today." Fahy was a second-generation firefighter and had been with the FDNY for 17 years. He leaves behind a wife and three young children. "It's a very sad day for our city," WPIX quotes mayor Bill de Blasio as saying.
While no one else was killed, the Daily News reports 20 people—nine firefighters, six police officers, three energy workers, and two civilians—were injured in the explosion. It's unclear what triggered the explosion, though officials believe the house was the site of a marijuana grow-op or meth lab. WNBC quotes a neighbor who says the explosion "shook my whole neighborhood" and "felt like a bomb went off." The only person home prior to the explosion left the house when firefighters arrived. (Read more FDNY stories.)