KENDALL, N.Y. (WIVB) - Firefighters in Orleans County responded to a house fire Monday night, but waited more than an hour and a half to put the fire out. Before the flames could be put out, firefighters first had to know the area was secure as a shooting took place before they were called. Firefighters that spoke with News 4 say the first thing they thought of was the tragic fire and shooting in Webster on Christmas Eve.
Firefighters from the Rochester suburb of Kendall were called out to a fire in Peter Smith around around 7 p.m. Monday. Firefighters weren't able to start attacking the fire until about an hour and a half later.
That's because before firefighters arrived, Orleans County Sheriff's Deputies were already on the scene. Deputies say Dennis Buehler shot his wife Linda Buehler in the shoulder. She was able to get away from her husband and called 911. Investigators say that's when Dennis lit his home on fire, walked out of the house, and then shot himself in the face.
Firefighters could only stand idly by watching the fire burn until police officers made sure the scene was clear.
Kendall Fire Department Chief Mike Schultz said, "And we had our equipment staging their quarters. We had one truck come up, stage a couple miles up the road until they cleared the scene for us to come in and then we came in put an attack on the fire. We had mutual aid companies standing by in their quarters as well and once we were called to the scene we brought everybody right in."
This was the first fire and shooting to take place in the area since the Webster shooting this past Christmas Eve. William Spengler set a house on fire to lure in first responders and shoot them. Spengler killed two firefighters and injured a third.
Kendall firefighters say that incident was definitely on their minds. The biggest difference between that incident and the one overnight, was they didn't know they were responding to a hostile situation in Webster.
It is protocol during an active shooter situation that firefighters let the structure burn before police give them the go ahead. Both Linda Buehler and her husband Dennis were taken to Strong Memorial Hospital, both are expected to recover from their injuries.
Dennis will face charges when he recovers. As for the couple's home, firefighters say it is a complete loss.
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