CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland firefighters are on high alert after gunshots were fired at the same fire station twice in two weeks.
Both incidents happened at Fire Station No. 20, 3765 Pearl Road, near the Brooklyn Centre Historic District.
“It’s certainly very troubling for the firefighters at the station and across the division,” said Frank Szabo, president of Cleveland Firefighters IAFF Local 93.
The Cleveland Police Intelligence Unit is in charge of the investigation.
The first report of gunshots being fired occurred during the New Year’s holiday.
Szabo said firefighters initially thought gunshots were related to “celebratory gunfire,” which is illegal in the city but has happened before.
No evidence of damage was found during that incident.
However, Szabo was still concerned for the firefighter’s safety and met with the fire chief Thursday to discuss the situation. Later that same night, around 8:30 p.m., two gunshots were fired.
Firefighters said they’d just parked a fire vehicle and were exiting the truck when they heard the shots. One shot went through the front window of the firehouse and went through a rear window.
The other shot struck the front of a fire truck.
The firefighters did not see a suspect, and no one was injured.
City leaders including the director of public safety and fire chief are taking the matter very seriously. Cleveland police have beefed up patrols in the area and there is a police presence at the firehouse.
Szabo said the facility is one of the largest in the city housing three fire companies, an ambulance and battalion chief’s office.
“It impacts the whole delivery of safety services, and there’s an EMS unit that runs out of Fire Station 20 as well, so they’re equally impacted by this,” said Szabo.
They want the suspect caught so that all first responders can focus on their jobs, which are already dangerous enough.
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