ACTON (CBSLA) — A fire at the Acton home of an off-duty firefighter suspected of fatally shooting a firefighter and critically injuring another Tuesday morning was finally out late that afternoon.
According to authorities, the off-duty firefighter, whose name has not yet been released, opened fire at about 10:50 a.m. at L.A. Co. FD Station No. 81 in the 8700 block of Sierra Highway in Agua Dulce.READ MORE: Kristine Lazar, CBS2/KCAL9 Investigative Reporter, Takes Home LA Area Emmy Saturday
“Knowing that this could have happened to any of us, knowing that there is a mother or father, a husband or wife, children that are grieving beyond [what] words can even comprehend right now,” Jonathan Matheny, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said. “That’s hard to swallow.”
Authorities believe he then drove to his home in Acton, set it on fire and took his own life.
“The suspect is saying he’s gonna shoot at anybody that approaches,” a dispatcher could be heard telling first responders.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the fire was reported at about 11:30 a.m., but since they did not immediately know what was inside, the bomb squad responded to the scene while ground crews and water-dropping aircraft worked for hours to put the blaze out.READ MORE: Daniel Williams, 24, Arrested In Connection To Saturday Fatal Double Shooting In Downtown Long Beach
“That’s very unique, very rare,” Matheny said of the water drops on a residential property.
Once investigators were able to get into the property, they found who they believed to be the shooting suspect dead in a pool from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“This is the most difficult day that I personally have every experienced with the Los Angeles County Fire Department seeing our brothers and our sisters in harm’s way in this manner,” Matheny said.
The home, in the 2600 block of Bent Spur Drive in Acton, was designed by the late Bel Air architect Martin Gelber, according to online records, and was sold last July for $700,000.MORE NEWS: LA County Continues To See COVID-19 Surge, Doctor Says Not Getting Vaccine Reckless
As for the fire station, authorities are asking people to stay away until it is fully processed. A public vigil was held Tuesday night at Acton Park.