2 firefighters shot, killed battling blaze in western NY

8:06 AM, Dec 24, 2012   |    comments
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WEBSTER, N.Y. - A gunman shot and killed at least two firefighters responding to a house fire at a Rochester suburb early Monday.

Two other firefighters were in guarded condition at Strong Memorial Hospital with gunshot wounds, according to a hospital spokeswoman, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reported.

The gunman was still at large at mid-morning. Fire Marshal Rob Boutillier said the blaze was allowed to spread to two other houses until the area is secured.

WHEC-TV reported that by mid-morning firefighters were attacking the blaze, which had spread to three homes and a vehicle.

The gunman open fire on the first firefighters to respond to the call around 5:45 a.m. ET, striking one in the backside.

A SWAT team has escorted some residents to a bus that took them from the neighborhood.

Boutillier advised those residents who chose to remain in their homes to stay away from windows and doors.

"I'm not aware of anything like this happening in Webster, obviously not a firefighter being fired upon," Boutillier said.

Webster, with a population of 5,000, is located northeast of Rochester and is bordered on the north by Lake Ontario.

WHEC-TV reported that one of the injured firefighters was able to drive away his vehicle from the scene.

The Associated Press

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