Funeral plans announced for FDNY firefighter William Tolley who died in line of duty

Posted at 4:10 PM, Apr 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-21 23:50:47-04

NEW YORK — Details about how family, friends, colleagues and the public can pay their final respects to FDNY firefighter William Tolley, who fell to his death while responding to a blaze in Queens, were announced Friday.

A wake will be held on Tuesday, April 25, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and on Wednesday, April 26, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at Chapey and Sons Funeral Home at 20 Hicksville Road in Bethpage.

Tolley's funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 27, at St. Martin of Tours, located at 220 Central Ave. in Bethpage.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the William N. Tolley's Children's Education Fund. Click here to donate.

A 14-year veteran, Tolley fell from the top of a five-story apartment building Thursday while responding to a fire that had broken out in a second-floor dwelling.

Just hours before his death, Tolley visited a bakery shopping for treats for his daughter's First Communion.

His death has been ruled an accident by the city's medical examiner. The cause of death was determined to be multiple blunt impact injuries.

Tolley, 42, is survived by his wife and 8-year-old daughter, as well as his brother and both of his parents.

He was remembered by colleagues, friends and neighbors as a "hero" who was "always joking around, always smiling."

Fernando Flores works at a deli where Tolley would frequent.

"I'm very sad. I cried yesterday," Flores said. "Every single day we see each other."

In addition to his FDNY service, the Bethpage resident was a volunteer firefighter for his town and previously did the same in Hicksville.

In his free time, Tolley played drums for the heavy metal band "Internal Bleeding." The Long Island-based rockers called him the "heartbeat of the band." They'd been embark on a nationwide tour next month.

"There are ZERO WORDS to describe the loss. He was a good, decent and honorable man who loved his friends, his family and the people he served," the band said.

"There will never be another like him. There are no words to describe the utter sadness and despair we feel right now. We love you Bill."