WEST BABYLON, N.Y. (1010 WINS) — A house fire turned violent in a quiet Long Island community when a home owner allegedly pulled out a gun on Saturday.
The fire happened at 9th Avenue and 5th Street in West Babylon around 6:30 p.m. Saturday night, 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports.
LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports
Police said a man with a history of mental illness — 48-year-old Thomas J. Scimone — confronted and threatened to shoot firefighters when they arrived at the scene. Scimone then ordered the firefighters out of the house and climbed out a rear bedroom window and ran into the neighborhood with a shotgun.
When responding officers caught up with him, police said Scimone pointed his gun at the officers, who responded by firing at him multiple times.
Scimone was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he is listed in critical condition.
Eyewitnesses from the scene said it was within a matter of seconds that all hell broke loose.
“It all happened really quickly. The fire—it looked like they had it under control under that time. The flames had just died down,” Sal Albano said. “Within seconds you heard someone scream watch out he’s coming out get behind the fire engine.”
Tina Porto, a mother living in the neighborhood, said the gun shots frightened her and her children as officials yelled to take cover.
“A barrage of gun fire,” Albano said. “I heard a lot of gun fire. There were at least two or three people firing at once.”
“They ran around, they ran in my backyard, they ran around and all of a sudden you hear ‘Pop, pop, pop,’” she said. “Oh my God, they were saying ‘Get down, get down.’ They all just ran behind the fire trucks. They literally just laid down and I was standing there with my kids. Then I heard run so we ran.”
An ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Suffolk County Police Arson Squad, the Homicide Squad, and the Internal Affairs Bureau.
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