Internal Bleeding Drummer and FDNY Firefighter William Tolley Dead at 42
Internal Bleeding drummer and FDNY firefighter William Tolley has died. While battling an extra-alarm fire in Queens, N.Y. on Thursday, April 20, he fell from a five-story roof. He was 42 years old. He is survived by his wife, Marie, and eight-year-old daughter.
Tolley, a 14-year FDNY veteran, was attempting to move from the roof into a basket on the end of a ladder when the basket shook, causing him to fall out and plummet downward. The blaze had been brought under control by that point.
According to CBS2, construction worker Michael Lewis witnessed the accident. “I seen the fireman go up the ladder, go in the white thing — the bucket — and then the ladder shakes,” he said. “I don’t know why it jerks or why it shakes. After it shakes, then he fall out. He was already up there on top of the roof in the bucket. There was like two or three firemen already on the roof, and then it shakes, and he fall out.”
“It looked like it jerked a little bit, and the door on the side was open, and he was standing over there and he fell out,” stated another witness.
FDNY Commissioner Nigro, who called Tolley’s death “a terrible tragedy,” explained: “The fire was on the second floor. Firefighter Tolley was operating on the roof. That was his position as the outside ventilation firefighter, operating around the area where Ladder 135’s bucket was located. Firefighter Tolley fell five stories from the roof and he perished about 20 minutes into fighting that fire. The circumstances of the tragedy and the fall are right now under investigation.
“It was nothing about the fire that really had anything to do with the accident that occurred. It was really in the operation that he was performing on the roof — which is a routine operation for us, and somehow he fell from the roof.”
His Internal Bleeding bandmates issued the following statement via Facebook:
“Our drummer, the heartbeat of the band, William Tolley died today. 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. 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.”
Revolver sends condolences to Tolley’s family, friends and bandmates. R.I.P.