Contradicting reports: Bullet or unknown object hits firefighter's helmet

Firefighter stuck by object on helmet

AVONDALE, OH (FOX19) - City officials are insisting an unknown object hit a Cincinnati firefighter's helmet as crews battled a weekend fire.

"Right now, they know that something hit his helmet, but we don't know what," said city spokesperson Rocky Merz.

But that contradicts a statement from the fire department saying gunshots were fired near a fire at a vacant home in the 500 block of Carplin Place just after midnight Sunday.

"During initial fire attack operations, gunfire erupted in the area from an unknown location near the fire building, striking one firefighter in his helmet, and narrowly missing several other," the statement reads. "None of the firefighters were injured and a defensive posture was taken due to the volume of fire and other circumstances."

Matt Alter, president of Cincinnati Firefighters Union Local 48, said Monday a bullet is the object that hit the firefighter's helmet. Five firefighters who were at the scene also maintain it was a bullet, he noted.

A forensics team is investigating. So far, no witnesses have come forward.

The firefighter was not hurt.

While the home was vacant, fire officials said they think "squatters" frequented it.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Damage was set at $80,000.

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