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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Gun put to firefighter’s head during rescue attempt

Associated Press

TACOMA – A woman being carried out of a burning house put a gun to a firefighter’s head and pulled the trigger repeatedly but was out of bullets following the shooting death of her boyfriend, police say.

The woman, in her late 50s, was hospitalized for treatment of smoke inhalation Monday. Once she is released she will be jailed for investigation of first-degree murder and two counts of assault, officer Mark Fulghum said.

Police and fire investigators said she apparently tried to set fire to the house in a suicide attempt after the shooting of her longtime boyfriend, 65.

There was no known history of domestic violence between the two or any obvious motive, Fulghum said. “It kind of doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

Lighter fluid, white gasoline and charcoal starter were poured throughout the 1 1/2 -story house and ignited before fire crews were dispatched shortly before 5 a.m., but the fire never spread much beyond the kitchen, Deputy Fire Chief Ronald W. Stephens said.

Matt Carlisle, 28, said that as he and two other firefighters entered the smoke-filled house, they heard “three distinct popping sounds” which he thought were from exploding light bulbs. Investigators now believe the sounds were gunshots, Fulghum said.

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