New York City marked the 10-year anniversary Saturday of an explosion that ignited a blaze at a hardware store in Queens that claimed the lives of three FDNY firefighters.
Children from the three families brought the ceremonial "gifts" to the alter at St. Sebastian’s Roman Catholic Church during a mass memorializing the three men who died on Father's Day, according to WCBS-TV.
Firefighters John Downing, Brian Fahey and Harry Ford left behind eight kids and three widows.
"When you marry a firefighter, you know it is a rule, that this sort of thing can happen," Mary Fahey, Brian's wife, said.
Denise Ford, the Harry's wife, said the fact her husband died on Father's Day made it that much harder to take.
"They were three fathers, and to lose them on that day, I always felt, was very cruel."
Firefighters and department officials remembered the tragic day.
"Ten years later we’re not here just to remember the tragic fire, but to celebrate the lives of these three men," Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said at the memorial.
Captain Joe Gandiello told the news station that the fire could have been much worse.
"We had people still out when it blew up," FDNY Captain Joe Gandiello said. "We had people on the roof, we had people on the second floor, there were guys that got blown out of the windows."
Following the fire, officials determined it was caused by a water heater igniting spilled gasoline, setting off an explosion occurred when the flames reached stored propane tanks.