NEW YORK (AP) - Three firefighters who were killed in a building
explosion on Father's Day two years ago were honored in a Queens
street renaming ceremony on Sunday.
Bagpipers played "Amazing Grace" as the children of
firefighters John Downing, Brian Fahey and Harry Ford unveiled the
street signs renaming a two-block stretch of Astoria Boulevard
after their fathers.
"Long before September 11, 2001, firefighters were sacrificing
for New Yorkers all around this city, and while the numbers may not
have been as large, we know that the sacrifices were just as
great," said Assemblyman Michael Gianaris, who represents the
The three firefighters were killed when a five-alarm blaze set
off an explosion in the basement of a Queens hardware store, where
propane tanks and paint were stored.
Ford, 50, and Downing, 40, were killed when the building's roof
and facade came crashing down on them. Fahey, 46, died after being
trapped in the basement. They were survived by their wives and a
total of eight children.
In response to the Father's Day tragedy, the City Council passed
legislation making it illegal to store flammable materials in a
basement without sprinklers, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. said
"Still today, New York City is trying to do what it can do to
honor the memories of these fine men," Vallone said.
About 200 firefighters, friends and family members attended the
"It's just beautiful to see the amount of men who would give up
their Father's Day to honor my husband," said Fahey's widow, Mary
Fahey. "It's just beautiful, and it's touching."
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Rest in peace....we shall always remember your sacrifice!