Firefighter Tolley was operating on the roof.
He is survived by his wife Marie and 8-year-old daughter Isabelle.
It was there where Mayor de Blasio held a press conference at 5 p.m., alongside FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro, Councilmembers Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) and Antonio Reynoso (D-Brooklyn, Ridgewood) to offer his condolences to Tolley's family and friends.
The firefighter was apparently moving from an FDNY bucket to the roof when he took a misstep and fell, according to the eyewitness.
The fire broke out in a five-story apartment building in the Ridgewood section of Queens at around 2:30 p.m. local time and was brought under control about 30 minutes later.
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Angie Cordero, 43, was in her house directly across the street from the building watching from the second-story window when Tolley fell.
"I join with all FDNY members in honoring the memory of our brother who unfortunately lost his life in the line of duty earlier today", said Jake Lemonda, president of The Fdny-Uniformed Fire Officers Association.
"It was nothing about the fire that really had anything to do with the accident that occurred".
For witnesses the shock of seeing this was followed by the realization that the firefighter was in grave condition.
A visibly-shaken Mayor de Blasio arrived at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center emergency room around 4:25 p.m., saying nothing as he ducked inside. "That door was open".
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Tolley fell from the building and was transported to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased.
Fellow firefighters at the scene were overcome with grief. Another firefighter was put inside an ambulance - he was alert.
"A man dedicated to protecting others gave his life to his work", de Blasio said.
Tolley is the 1,147th member of the FDNY to die in the line of duty.
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