Foundation comes to aid of fallen firefighter
by Patrick Kearns
Apr 26, 2017 | 1535 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation has promised to pay off the mortgage on the Bethpage home owned by a firefighter who died last week battling a blaze in Ridgewood.

“When our firefighters go out there every day to protect our community, there is a real possibility that they may not come home that day,” said foundation CEO Frank Siller. “And when something like this happens, it is our responsibility to make sure that we come together and we say not only ‘thank you, and we pray for the family,' but we take real action.”

Firefighters from Ladder 135/Engine 286 in Glendale were called to a fire in a second-floor apartment at 2:20 p.m. at 1615 Putnam Avenue, where 42-year-old William Tolley fell five stories.

Eyewitnesses said the 14-year FDNY veteran was trying to get back into a ladder bucket while leaving the roof. He was taken to Wyckoff Height Medical Center, where he later died.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called Tolley a, “man dedicated to protecting others.”

“He gave his life to this work,” de Blasio said. “Like all members of the FDNY he understood every day he was putting his life on the line, but he did it willingly in service of others.”

Standing outside the firehouse on Monday, Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the incident is still under investigation by the FDNY.

“Our procedure for investigating this is very methodical,” Nigro said. “For us, the speed with which we determine the events is far less important than the accuracy.”

At Monday's announcement by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Marie Tolley was thankful for the outpouring of support.

“Bella and I and our entire family are trying to get through this together, and we just want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” she said. “And to the firefighters here that worked with him and everyone in the Fire Department that has been with us every second, I know he would be so grateful and proud because he loved this job.”
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