(NBC News) By Jason White
Four firefighters were shot -- two fatally -- as they responded to a large fire early Monday in Webster, N.Y., in the northwestern part of the state.
When the firefighters, believed to be volunteers, arrived on the scene of the blaze around 6 a.m. ET and exited their vehicles, they were fired upon, police and fire officials said.
“These firemen are part of our family. You go into a fire with these guys. To see them go down with something like this is totally unexpected. We are in shock,” Billy Gross, fire commissioner for West Webster, told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
The gunfire forced firefighters to flee from the scene of the blaze -- a narrow spit of land, with Lake Ontario on one side and Irondequoit Bay on the other. The two firefighters who were hit but survived are being treated at a local hospital for their wounds.
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