The Berks-Mont News (http://www.berksmontnews.com)

Hostages released unharmed, suspect in custody at LaMott Fire Company


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cheltenham Twp. >> A former volunteer firefighter released four hostages held for an hour at LaMott Fire Company and surrendered to police late Tuesday morning.

The suspect was removed from his position yesterday, Cheltenham Chief of Police John Norris said at an afternoon press conference.

“Volunteer firefighters...take it seriously. They do a tough job for no money,” he said. When one is removed from that position, “it’s very traumatic for the firefighter.”

The suspect entered the fire house and fired one shot into a wall, Norris said. An unspecified number of people heard the shot and left the building, but four firefighters were held hostage, beginning around 10:45 a.m.

“Obviously, he targeted someone,” Norris said.

One hostage was released almost immediately after police arrived at the scene. The other three were released unharmed within the hour.

“It’s always the best possible outcome when nobody gets hurt,” Norris said.

Norris couldn’t specify what charges the suspect faces, saying “obviously you can’t take people hostage with a gun.”