Bullets from nearby fatal shooting hit Oakland fire station


A picture tweeted by the Oakland Fire Department shows windows shot up at Fire Station 18 on Bancroft Avenue, which is close to the scene of a fatal shooting Tuesday night.

The firefighters at Station 18 had just returned from a fire, had just parked their truck in the garage when all of a sudden then had to duck underneath the vehicle to avoid being hit by gunfire.

"They dove underneath the fire engine, firefighters inside dove underneath the desk," Battalion Chief Emon Usher said. "Upstairs they could hear the bullets zinging by."

Bullets hit two window panes; one in the back garage door, and one in the front. They came from a murder in the 5000 block of Melrose Avenue. A 19-year-old was killed while attending a vigil just before 9 p.m.

"No firefighters were injured and the only thing that was damaged was the apparatus doors, so we were very fortunate last night," Usher said.

"You know, I think it's a sad commentary on the state of crime in Oakland right now, when the firefighters can't be safe in their fire house," said Dan Robertson, President of the Oakland Firefighter's Union. "You know, what we do is save people and we'll put our lives on the line for the people, but the fire house is kind of our safe haven."

Robertson says fire stations in Oakland have been shot up before, adding that the problem is so bad at Fire Station 23 near Eastmont Mall that they're working on making it safer.

"They've had some incidents where bullets have come into the fire house, through the dining area into the kitchen area," Robertson said. "So we're trying to get them to put a safety wall, or something like that, for a lack of a better explanation, rather than just have the plants protect the fire house."

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