A year ago in April, Internal Bleeding drummer and 14-year FDNY veteran William (“Bill”) Tolley died in a freak accident fighting a fire in Queens, NY after falling five stories from a roof.
A portion of 66th Pl. in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens, where Tolley’s former firehouse is based (Engine 286 and Ladder 135), has now been renamed in his honor with a street sign reading “Firefighter William N. Tolley” at the corner of Myrtle Ave. Internal Bleeding posted a photo to their Instagram of the new street sign yesterday.
Tolley’s death was allegedly not directly related to the fire, which was described as “routine” and a “small blaze” three floors below and was confined to a single room in a one-bedroom apartment, making Tolley’s death all the more tragic. The fire was “mainly extinguished” by the time Tolley fell. Two witnesses described seeing Tolley take a misstep as he attempted to transfer himself from the bucket at the end of a ladder onto the roof. Tolley left behind his wife, Marie, and an eight-year-old daughter.
Internal Bleeding released a new song “Final Justice” just one day after Tolley’s death. The band vowed to press on in his honor, eventually naming Kyle Eddy as his replacement.
R.I.P., Billy. As Internal Bleeding have said, “forever a hero.”