HENRICO, Va (WTVR) – Firefighters working in Henrico County this Christmas Eve say their hearts are breaking over news that two of their brethren were shot to death responding to a fire in Upstate New York.
Two firemen were killed and another two injured in Webster, New York when a man opened fire as they arrived on the scene of a massive blaze that had engulfed four homes. News broke late in the afternoon, that officials believe 62-year-old William Spengler purposely lit the fire as a trap, with the intention of drawing in first responders so he could open fire.
“We’re coming to your place to help. That’s what we do. So, to hear about firefighters that are shot. it’s just heartbreaking,” said Captain James Mellon with Henrico Fire. “It’s heartbreaking that there’s people in this world that want to do anyone harm, much less the people that are here to help.”
CBS 6 caught up an Henrico crew as they battled a house fire in the county on Monday afternoon. Mellon tells CBS 6 that unlike policemen, the firemen that come to your home are not armed. He says the county trains firemen to be aware of their surroundings at all times when they arrive on the scene.
“We do go through training on situational awareness where we are taught as we approach the scene to evaluate everything, not just the fire, but the surroundings,” Mellon said. “We hope that’s enough to keep us safe.”