SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- In recently released 911 recordings and firefighter communications, you can hear firefighters getting ready to battle a blaze when gunshots rang out on Oakdale Avenue in Springfield.
Police said Lance Jacobs, 65, set his house on fire and ambushed first responders with a shotgun.
"Unit five has arrived," one firefighter is heard saying in the recording. "We got working fire, engine five will be offensive; [bang] what was that?"
Moments later the severity of the situation became clear as one firefighter called out shots fired.
"We got shots fired, shots fired, shots fired," one firefighter said frantically. "We need SPD ASAP!"
Here is a full recording of the firefighter's communications during the ambush.
In the recordings, firefighters are told to abandon the fire and pull back while police respond to the scene.
A firefighter is heard in the recording giving a description of the suspected shooter, Lance Jacobs:
"Heavy, white male, approximately 60-years-old, with a shotgun.”
When the firefighters pulled back, one of them was not able to get out of harm’s way. A while later, that firefighter got on his radio explaining he was pinned down behind an ambulance.
"The shooter was just in front of the ambulance. I'm going to stay where I'm at," he said.
Marie Longworth, a supervisor for Central Lane 911, came in that morning while the shooter was still active. In an interview, she said a somber mood filled the dispatch center, but everyone was focused on their job.
"At the time there was a firefighter that they weren't sure where he was at and the phones were still ringing, so we still had a job to do -- not just that fire but other situations," Longworth said.
Police are overheard on the 911 recording telling other officers to bring their long guns. A SWAT team was called in.
Amazingly, no first responders were seriously injured, but the ones who first arrived on scene where hit by shotgun pellets. Thanks to their protective gear, they were only bruised.
Police said Jacobs turned the gun on himself. Firefighters and police went back to work as soon as the scene was safe, and they put out the fire.
In total four homes were destroyed.
Longworth said a peer support group helped the dispatchers deal with the trauma and all first responders were able to meet with each other 24 hours after the shooting.
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