Two firefighters were reportedly shot and killed while putting out a blaze in western New York early Monday, local police officials said.
In addition, two other firefighters were shot and injured when they arrived at the scene of the fire near Lake Ontario, just east of Rochester.
"Our main concern right now is to have law enforcement evacuate the people in harm's way [and] make the scene safe for the fire department," Rob Boutillier, fire marshal in the town of Webster, New York, told reporters, according to CNN.
"And then the fire department will go in and do its job," Boutillier added.
"I'm not aware of anything like this happening in Webster, obviously not a firefighter being fired upon," Boutillier added, saying that one injured firefighter is being kept at Strong Memorial Hospital in a guarded room.
Firefighters reportedly arrived at the scene of the fire on the 100 block of Lake Road around 6 a.m., but could not succeed in putting out the fire for hours as they were being shot at by an unknown suspect.
The unknown gunman reportedly shot one firefighter in the back shortly before SWAT team members arrived to escort neighborhood residents from their homes.
By midmorning police had surrounded the neighborhood and are currently searching for the shooter. Firefighters continue to attack the blaze, which has reportedly spread from one home to two others, as well as a car, according to ABC News.
According to CBS News, local firefighters are letting one house burn because it is not yet secure to enter the area surrounding the house.