New information is now available on a fire that destroyed a local home Wednesday afternoon near Washington and Rancho.
One man is dead as a result - but not because of the flames. The suspect was shot to death after firing several rounds at first responders, including firefighters and police officers.
News 3's Anita Roman reports that firefighters say they had no idea what they were in store for when they pulled up to the smoky house.
Crews were first called to the scene for a house fire just before 12:30 pm. As two fire engines loaded up to answer the call, crews thought it would be routine.
But what they didn't know was that they'd be dodging bullets instead. As firefighters arrived to the 1200 block of Comstock Drive, Engine 3 and Engine 203 became targets.
Firefighter DuJuan Robinson: The glass shattered; I could see the projectile going through the window. I wasn't quite sure what it was. I thought it was maybe a rock. And then my partner screamed, ‘They're shooting at us! Get down!'
Firefighter Carlos Gardea: As soon as I turned around and looked, I saw an adult male taking a shot at the fire engine behind us.
Captains Vincent Whitney and Al Hurtado also say it was an insane afternoon.
Captain Whitney: A huge commotion started; we recognized that there were gunshots.
Captain Hurtado: As we turned, (the shooting suspect) just happened to be straight across from us. And he was straight across from us aiming a weapon at us.
Riddled with dozens of small bullet holes, the windows were shot and blown out of the fire trucks. Within minutes, police officers from several agencies were on the scene.
The shooting suspect was taken down after turning his weapon on police.
"It's not something you can prepare for, it's not something that you plan on," says Fire Chief Greg Gammon. "It just happens. For it to happen to us today, it was kind of a shock."
At this point, the house was fully engulfed by flames; smoke could be seen for miles. Two nearby schools were placed on lockdown as a precaution.
Investigators believe the fire began in the bedroom of the home. But who started it and why are still questions they are trying to answer. Firefighters say a woman, who lives in the house alone, was at work at the time of the fire.
Police are also working to determine who the shooting suspect is and why he opened fire at fire crews and police.
A Metro Police officer suffered minor injuries after being grazed by a bullet; as for the firefighters, they are grateful no one was hurt.