Four firefighters were shot — two fatally — as they responded to a large fire early Monday in Webster, N.Y., in the northwestern part of the state.
When firefighters arrived on the scene of the blaze around 6 a.m. ET, they were fired upon by one or more shooters, police and fire officials said.
The gunfire forced the firefighters to flee. The two firefighters who were hit but survived are being treated at a local hospital for their wounds.
SWAT teams are on the ground and helicopters are hovering in the air.
“I’m not aware of anything like this happening in Webster, obviously not a firefighter being fired upon,” Webster Fire Marshal Rob Boutillier said, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
Police say there is no longer an “active shooting” situation, but residents of the area are being evacuated, and police are searching them as they leave, the newspaper reported.
After the shooting, the fire grew to engulf at least three homes and one motor vehicle.
Michael Damico was among those forced to flee, according to the Democrat and Chronicle.
“The whole strip’s been evacuated,” Damico said. “They’re evacuating all of the houses and going through them.”