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Police say Webster ambush taught them lessons

Tonawanda, N.Y.-- The call came in as a woman screaming: "He's going to kill me, he has a gun and set the house on fire."

Police and firefighters in the Buffalo suburb of Tonawanda knew this was a dangerous situation and heard gunshots when they pulled up. That's why firefighters did not immediately go in and start fighting the fire.

Police said that's also a lesson they learned from the tragedy in Webster. The difference on that Christmas Eve morning- West Webster firefighters had no idea there was a gunman waiting to shoot them when they responded.

Lt. Nick Bado of the Tonawanda Police Department said that tragedy was on the minds of first responders Monday as they waited until it was safe to get near the burning homes.

The body of the suspect, Joe Hollywood was found late Monday afternoon in the home he set on fire.

Police said they can honor the fallen firefighters in West Webster by using their training and knowing when not to rush into a scene.

West Webster firefighters said what happened on Christmas Eve is something they will never forget. They hope the training that came out of that tragedy will help keep other first responders safe.

They hope to build a permanent memorial to the fallen firefighters behind the fire department. They would like to dedicate it on the first year anniversary, on Christmas Eve.

 
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