FDNY mourns after firefighter takes a fatal fall while battling a Ridgewood blaze

Firefighters outside Wyckoff Heights Medical Center on Thursday night as the body of Firefighter William Tolley is transferred.
Photo via Twitter/@FDNY

A member of New York’s Bravest fell five stories to his death while battling a two-alarm fire in Ridgewood on Thursday afternoon, it was reported.

According to the Fire Department, Firefighter William Tolley of Ladder Company 135 based in Glendale was among those who responded to the blaze that ignited at 2:19 p.m. on April 20 inside a five-story building at the corner of Wyckoff and Putnam avenues.

Firefighter William Tolley of Ladder Company 135 in Glendale. (Photo via Twitter/@FDNY)

More than 100 firefighters from 25 units responded to calls about the blaze. According to police sources, Tolley ascended up a bucket ladder to work on the fire from the roof when he fell. The cause of his fall remains under investigation, according to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

Video captured on Twitter showed a group of firefighters quickly wheeling a gurney carrying Tolley, a 14-year FDNY veteran, into a waiting ambulance that was sent to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where he died a short time later.

Three residents inside the dwelling were also taken to Wyckoff Hospital for injuries that do not appear to be life-threatening, the FDNY said.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control just before 3 p.m.; the cause is under investigation.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Fire Commissioner Nigro, City Council Members Antonio Reynoso and Elizabeth Crowley and Public Advocate Letitia James attended a press conference at Wyckoff Hospital, where they offered condolences to Tolley’s wife, Marie, and their 8-year-old daughter, Bella. The family resides in Bethpage, Long Island.

“Everyone is in a state of shock and grief, and to his family we say that we stand with you,” de Blasio said, “not just now, but for years to come.”

Tolley is the 1,147th member of the New York City Fire Department to be killed in the line of duty.

On Thursday night, firefighters saluted Tolley as his body was transferred out of Wyckoff Heights Hospital, with Commissioner Nigro leading the way.