EDEN - Someone shot at firefighters putting out a blaze at the Mar Gre Motel last week, and authorities said the fire that destroyed a portion of the motel still is being treated as arson.
Eden Fire Chief Doug Cline said in a news release that multiple gunshots were found in the windshields of two pieces of equipment used to put out the fire Wednesday.
The blaze started after firefighters had gone through a training exercise there earlier in the day.
They had practiced fire suppression exercises in one of the buildings that the owner had donated to the city.
The motel had been the scene of several police calls, and police Chief Gary Benthin had tried to have it declared a nuisance.
The owners planned to tear down the buildings but decided to donate them for the fire exercise instead.
The training ended about 4 p.m., but firefighters remained on the scene until 5:15 p.m.
Different firefighters and command officers checked the structure repeatedly, using the city's thermal imaging camera, Cline said.
When they left, there were no signs of heat, fire or smoke, he said.
The scene had been that way for about 75 minutes when Deputy Chief Tommy Underwood saw smoke from the motel's roof line.
By the time firefighters got there, two rooms and the attic in a building not scheduled to be burned were ablaze.
"Due to the amount of noise created by the fire apparatus and the efforts to suppress the fire, the gunshots were not detected until operations were downscaling and the evidence of bullet holes in the windshield were discovered," Cline said in a news release issued late Friday.
The cause of the fire still has not been determined, but Cline called it suspicious in nature.
Anyone with information about the fire should call Cline at 623-2110, Ext. 3032.
That doesn't make sense. Everyone loves fire fighters.
Goes to show that dirtbags live everywhere. My dept. has 4 Engines and 2 Medics (ambulances)w/ bullet holes/dings in them.
What a freaky call. 1st they go to a fire at a place they were JUST training at, then they get shot at!
When I was a FF/EMT in Indianapolis, we could never run lights/siren through a specific 1 mile area on 10th street enroute to the hospital because people in that neighborhood would fire shots as us as we drove through.
I had always thought it was one of the war stories that the old timers told us from "back in the day" so we really didn't take it to heart. One night another new guy and myself were on the rig and went through that part of town without thinking.......in emergency mode. We heard what sounded like a rock hitting the side of the box and later when we got back to the station and were restocking equipment, found a bullet hole into a side compartment.