Tunnel to Towers Foundation offers to pay fallen Firefighter William Tolley's mortgage

It was the first time Marie Tolley spoke publicly since her husband's death. It was the first time Marie Tolley spoke publicly since her husband's death.
NEW YORK -

The Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation announced Monday that it will pay off the mortgage of a New York City firefighter from Long Island who died in the line of duty.

Firefighter William Tolley, of Bethpage, died after falling five stories while battling a fire in Ridgewood, Queens last Thursday. The FDNY is investigating whether there was a mechanical issue with the ladder or bucket Tolley was using at the time.

Monday's announcement was made just steps away from a growing memorial for Tolley outside Ladder 135 in Queens, where he served for 14 years. Dozens of firefighters lined the street in a show of support.

Fighting back tears, Tolley's wife Marie held on to the couple's 8-year-old daughter Isabella as she thanked all those who have supported her in her time of grief. It was the first time she spoke publicly since her husband's death.

Wake services for Tolley will be held Tuesday and Wednesday at Chapey & Sons Funeral Home in Bethpage. His funeral will follow at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Martin of Tours church, also in Bethpage.

Since 2014, Tunnel to Towers has donated $3 million to families of those who have died in public service.

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