- Associated Press - Saturday, October 1, 2016

YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) - A New York City fire battalion chief killed by debris from a house explosion last week was remembered Saturday as a hero and a dedicated family man at his funeral service attended by thousands of firefighters, elected officials, friends and family.

Michael Fahy’s wife and two of their three young children spoke tenderly about him at the Roman Catholic Mass at the Annunciation Church, in Yonkers, that Cardinal Timothy Dolan helped officiate.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro also addressed the packed church.

Through tears, his wife, Fiona, called him “the love of her life” and told the mourners how the only thing he loved more than his work was his family.

“New York knows what we’ve always known, that Mike Fahy was a hero,” she added. “I’m nowhere near trying to make sense of any of this.”

“Dad, I could always count on you,” said Michael, the oldest of the three children, ages 6, 8 and 11. “I know you were proud of me, and I’m so proud of you.”

The 17-year fire department veteran died Tuesday morning. He was directing operations from the street when he was struck by debris when the house in the Bronx exploded. Authorities say a tampered gas main may be to blame. They’re looking into whether the building was used to grow marijuana.

The 44-year-old Fahy, who was the son of a fire chief, was posthumously promoted on Thursday from battalion chief to deputy chief by the FDNY. He had a doctorate from New York Law School.

Two people have been arrested in connection with the explosion.

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