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article imageVegas firefighters: 'We're being shot at!'

By Jay David Murphy     Sep 3, 2009 in Crime
One man is dead, one officer is wounded, and firefighters came under gunfire while responding to a three-alarm fire in Las Vegas Wednesday afternoon.
Gunfire erupts this afternoon (Wednesday) and firefighters come under fire while responding to a blaze that is presumed was intentionally set in Las Vegas.
A Las Vegas Metro police officer received a bullet wound in the arm and one person was shot dead at the scene of the fire.
Digital Journal was near the scene, but was not able to get in close to where all the activity was taking place. Police, fire, and ambulance personnel were all called into action on the three-alarm fire at 1230 Comstock Drive just off Martin Luther King Boulevard and Washington Ave.
Heavily armed Metro Police and two squads of S.W.A.T. escorted fire department personnel to the scene.
Reports to the press say heavy flames and smoke tore through the home while a man with a rifle ran around the home and began firing on the fire engine trucks.
In repeated television reports from Las Vegas local news, police dispatchers are saying they heard on the emergency radio, “We’re being shot at!” Two fire engine trucks were hit with gunfire and one had its back window shot out.
After the initial gun fire, the firefighters retreated a safe distance in their trucks.
The scene became a battle ground when Metro Police, Clark County School Police, detectives, and motorcycle police converged on the scene.
Sheriff Doug Gillespie speaking with members of the press said a Metro Police Sergeant was hit in the back of the arm, but said it was a minor injury and he has received treatment and has been released. He went on to say that no other personnel were injured.
Gillespie said, “I think this afternoon is an example of the dangers public servants face every day.”
Las Vegas Metro spokesperson, Officer Barbara Morgan has confirmed that the person believed to be the gunman was dead at the scene, but has yet to confirm whether the cause of death was from gunfire exchanged with officers.
Morgan said that homicide detectives and police officers closed the area down and a number of schools were put on lock-down in the area as a precautionary measure to keep children from being let out of school and entering the area exposing themselves to the gunfire during the blaze.
The man who is alleged to have been firing the rifle and is presumed to be the one who is dead and has not been identified by officials pending further investigation into the deadly incident.
Fire investigators are already estimating that the home received $200,000 in damages due to the fire which is presumed to have been started by the man who opened up with gunfire on the firefighters.
Considering the mayhem that took place it is a relief to the community of fire personnel that none of their people were injured, a responding fireman told Digital Journal after the most of the activity had died down and the streets were reopened to normal traffic.
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