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police & fire

Fugitive In Blast That Killed North Rockland's Fahy Found At Lover's Home

Julio Salcedo Contrer
Julio Salcedo Contrer Photo Credit: Bergen County Sheriff
The aftermath.
The aftermath. Photo Credit: ABC7 Eyewitness News screen grab
NDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy, a native of North Rockland and Yonkers resident, was killed when a building exploded on Tuesday.
NDNY Battalion Chief Michael Fahy, a native of North Rockland and Yonkers resident, was killed when a building exploded on Tuesday. Photo Credit: FDNY/Facebook

A man who authorities said had a pot-growing operation in a two-story Bronx home that exploded Tuesday morning, killing FDNY battalion chief Michael Fahy, a Yonkers resident and North Rockland High School grad, is being held without bail in the Bergen County Jail after his arrest at his girlfriend's Cliffside Park apartment on Tuesday.

Julio Salcedo Contrer, 34, was taken into custody by a Regional Fugitive Task Force made up of NYPD detectives and US Marshals on Walker Street.

"He had a girl here. They got him quick," a law enforcement officer with knowledge of the arrest told Daily Voice. "No incident."

He was charged with being a fugitive from justice.

Salcedo has an extensive criminal history that includes arrests for unlawful imprisonment, assault and drug offenses, records show.

Firefighters went to the home to investigate a gas leak early Tuesday.

They summoned police after discovering the drug operation, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said.

The house exploded around 6:20 a.m. Tuesday.

Fahy, a 17-year member of the city fire department, was killed by a piece of roof blasted through the air when the two-story house on W. 234th Street exploded.

Fahy came from a family dedicated to the department with his father serving 33 years with the department, fighting fire after fire to become a battalion chief himself, before retiring in 2001.

Fahy leaves behind his wife Fiona Fahy; two sons, Michael, 11, Cormac, 6, and a daughter, Anna Elisabeth, 8.

Funeral service information is expected to be announced Wednesday afternoon.

The FDNY Foundation has set up an online donation page to raise funds for the family. To donate, click here and then select the "Chief Michael J. Fahy Children's Educational Fund" in the drop down option that says "General Support."

Others injured included six police officers, nearby residents and utility workers, they said.

"Chief Fahy responded at 6:22 a.m. (Tuesday) morning along with several fire units to calls reporting a gas odor at the intersection of West 234th Street and Irwin Avenue," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Chief Fahy, serving as Incident Commander, ordered fire units to search for the source of the gas odor, and to evacuate possible endangered occupants of homes in the vicinity of the odor.

"Units determined the gas was emanating from 304 West 234th Street and, at about 7:30 a.m., an explosion occurred on the top floor of the house.

"Chief Fahy was struck and fatally injured by falling debris. He was transported to New York-Presbyterian-the Allen Hospital where he died from his injuries."

Kathy Reakes contributed to this report.

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