Sad news to report. William Tolley, drummer and founding member of Long Island, New York death metal act INTERNAL BLEEDING, died yesterday afternoon (4/20) after falling five stories to his death, while working as a firefighter. He plunged from the roof of an apartment complex in the Ridgewood section of Queens, New York. He was 42.
Tolley was part of the crew that responded to a call to put out a small fire at a Queens home on Thursday, according to CBS 2 New York. Witnesses said it appeared Tolley, of Bethpage, Long Island, misstepped while trying to move from the bucket attached to his fire truck’s ladder to the roof, and fell five stories at around 2:40 pm Eastern.
Tolley was a 14-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). The fire the team was battling occurred on the second floor of a multi-family home located at 1615 Putnam Avenue in Ridgewood on Thursday afternoon, the FDNY said.
The fire had already been contained when Tolley fell, CBS reported. One witness described what he saw to a CBS reporter. ‘I seen the fireman go up the ladder, go in the white thing — the bucket — and then the ladder shakes. I don’t know why it jerks or why it shakes. After it shakes, then he fell out,’ Michael Lewis, a construction worker, said. ‘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 fell out.’
It’s standard procedure for firefighters to ventilate a burning building by going to the roof and opening doors, as part of efforts to save individuals who may be trapped above a fire, said New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro. ‘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,’ Nigro said. ‘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.’
Tolley’s band, Internal Suffering, issued these words on the tragedy:
“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.”
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio issued the following statement:
“I’m very sorry to report tragedy has struck our city. Today we lost a hero of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). William Tolley was a 14-year veteran of the FDNY dedicated to protecting others. To William’s family, we not only stand by you today but in the weeks and years ahead. Our hearts also go out today to the members of the FDNY, especially the members of Ladder 135 in Ridgewood.”
TMD sends out deepest condolences to Bill Tolley’s family, friends, bandmates and fans.
Source: Daily Mail