A former Elkins Park firefighter took four LaMott firefighters hostage at gunpoint. The yet-unnamed former Pennsylvania firefighter is now in custody. Elkins Park is in the Cheltenham Township area of Montgomery County.
Cheltenham Police were called to the LaMott Fire House on Penrose Avenue and Graham Lane at 10:30 a.m., after a 911 alerted them to the four firefighters being taken hostage at gunpoint. The former Elkins Park firefighter reportedly held them in the basement of the Pennsylvania fire house at gunpoint.
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The former Elkins Park firefigher fired one shot into a wall and threatened to shoot and kill the four firefighters after law enforcement officers arrived on the scene, according to police reports. An armed SWAT team reportedly entered the LaMott firehouse through a garage and proceeded to secure the first floor of the Elkins Park fire department.
Police negotiators began talking to the former LaMott firefighter after the SWAT team secured the first floor. They negotiators reportedly soon discovered that the Elkins Park firefighter was embroiled in a dispute with the fire department and was fired on Monday.
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The negotiators spoke with the former Pennsylvania firefighter for “several minutes” and ultimately convinced him to free the four fighters being held at gunpoint. The suspect then reportedly surrendered himself to the SWAT team without incident.
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The four Pennsylvania firefighters were said to be “shaken up” but not injured and “holding up well” under the circumstances. The LaMott firefighters that had been held hostage were transported to the Cheltenham Police Department for questioning. The former Elkins Park firefighter was taken to a nearby psychiatric hospital.
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“Volunteer firefighters, especially in our town, are very dedicated people and they take it seriously. They do a tough job with no money, no pay. But they’re dedicated to it. So when you get terminated, or you lose that job for some reason, it’s very traumatic for the firefighter,” Cheltenham Police Chief John Norris said.
The LaMott firehouse in Elkins Park remains a crime scene at this time.
[Image via Shutterstock]