News

FIRE TRAP: 4 Firefighters Shot, 2 DEAD, Responding to Blaze

firefighter shot at fire webster NY guns

Via @jgermano1.

Lured into an evil trap, four firefighters were gunned down as they arrived to battle a raging blaze on Christmas Eve morning. Two are dead, including Mike Chippiarini, 43, a revered police lieutenant who was lifetime volunteer fireman.

The other deceased victim is 911 dispatcher Tomasz Kaczowka.

Injured are firefighters Joseph Hofstetter and Theodore Scardino, as well as responding police officer John Ritter, who was wounded by shrapnel.

William Spengler.


The shooter, who set the fire and lay in wait for the responders, then eventually shot himself dead, has been identified as William Spengler, 62, a man who did hard time for killing his grandmother with a hammer 30 years ago.

The chaotic scenario unfolded around 6 a.m. at 191 Lake Road in the town of Webster, in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

firefighters killed at fire

Via @jgermano1.

The Democrat and Chronicle reported that firefighters were forced to let the blaze rage unchecked as police secured the scene. Flames spread to additional houses while SWAT teams evacuated some 33 homes in the neighborhood.

Via @maxrocphoto.


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Webster Fire Marshal Rob Boutillier told the newspaper:

I’m not aware of anything like this happening in Webster, obviously not a firefighter being fired upon.

firefighters shot and killed

One of the surviving victims drove himself to safety, reports CNN:

One firefighter escaped from the scene in his own vehicle about an hour after he was shot, then was transported to the hospital by an ambulance from another location, [Fire Marshal Rob] Boutillier said.

Injuries to one of the surviving firefighters sound devastating:

Early reports said one firefighter shot, then two. Later in the morning authorities revealed the full gravity of the situation: four firefighters shot, two dead. At a series of press conferences, more details are coming to light — including that the shooter is dead and likely worked alone.

Local reporter Victoria Freile has been tweeting from the scene:

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