Thousands attend funeral for FDNY firefighter
NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Thousands of firefighters stood together dressed in blue to remember their fallen brother, Firefighter William Tolley, a 14-year FDNY veteran who died in the line of duty last week after falling from an apartment building in Queens.
His casket was draped with the FDNY flag as it was brought into St. Martin of Tours Roman Catholic Church in Bethpage, Long Island. His wife Marie followed with her daughter, Bella, 8, who wore her father's dress cap. Inside, they sang Bella's favorite song. Her uncle, Robert, said his brother was born to be a firefighter.
Firefighter Jarrett Kotarski with Ladder 135 said Tolley was a hero. He said Tolley grew up to be a firefighter and a rock star.
The close-knit Bethpage community came together, wrapping red ribbons around utility poles to honor the 42-year-old who volunteered in his hometown.
Some firefighters traveled from as far as Canada to be at the funeral.
The day was about supporting and remembering Tolley, a man who wore many hats who had a big smile and an even bigger heart.
Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the FDNY will never forget Tolley and will honor him and watch over his family.
Bella was given her father's helmet and tightly held a blanket with her dad's picture on it.