April 20, 2017
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro today announced the death of Firefighter William N. Tolley of Ladder Company 135, a 14-year-veteran of the FDNY who died from injuries sustained while fighting a second-alarm fire in Ridgewood, Queens.
“A man dedicated to protecting others gave his life to this work and, like all members of the FDNY, understood every single day he was putting his life on the line, but he did it willingly in service of others,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Today, he made the ultimate sacrifice. Our hearts go out to his family.”
“Firefighter Tolley was committed to helping those in need, putting others first, even at his own peril,” said Fire Commissioner Nigro. “Today, his bravery battling a serious fire in Queens was again evident, yet resulted in the tragic loss of his life. Our hearts and our prayers go out to his family, and we vow to help them through this terrible tragedy.”
Firefighter Tolley and members of Ladder 135 responded at 2:20 p.m. along with additional fire units to reports of fire in a second floor apartment in a five-story apartment building at 1615 Putnam Avenue in Queens. Firefighter Tolley, who was assigned as his unit’s outside ventilation Firefighter - with responsibility to ventilate toxic smoke and heat from the fire - was accessing the roof of the structure when he fell five stories, suffering life threatening injuries. He was transported to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where he died.
Firefighter Tolley was appointed Firefighter in September of 2003 and was assigned to Ladder 135. He is the 1,147th member of the Department to make the Supreme Sacrifice in the line-of-duty. The last member of the Department to die in the line of duty was Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Yadira Arroyo of EMS Station 26, who was killed on March 16th, 2017.
Firefighter Tolley of Bethpage, New York, is survived his wife, Marie, and daughter Isabella; his older brother, Bobby; and his parents, Marie and Bob Tolley.
To make a donation in support of Firefighter William N. Tolley's family, click here and select 'William N. Tolley's Children's Educational Fund' from the drop down menu.