Fallen Battalion Chief Michael Fahy mourned

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Chief Michael J. Fahy, 17-year veteran of the FDNY, was killed while responding to a gas leak at a house in the Bronx. The house exploded. Flying debris struck Chief Fahy. (Photo credit: FDNY)

New York City is mourning a hero whose life was cut short.

Battalion Chief Michael Fahy was a 17-year FDNY veteran. At Battalion 19 in the Bronx, where he'd been since 2012, Fahy's colleagues comforted one another and prepared to drape bunting on Wednesday, while flags citywide flew at half-staff.

At the hospital in Inwood where Fahy died, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro got choked up as he reflected on the loss of the 44-year-old husband and father of 3 young children.

"It's a terrible loss for the Fahy family, it's a loss for the fire department family. We are a family.  We feel it deeply today," Nigro said.

Previously, Fahy worked as a fire captain in the Lower East Side. Before that, he was a lieutenant in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was a hero to his city and especially a hero to his family.

Fahy's bravery ran in his blood. His father was also a city fire chief for more than 30 years. He was a family man and a hero who his loved ones say will never be forgotten.