(Reuters) – Investigators on Thursday sifted through the charred ruins of a house in a Philadelphia suburb for the remains of at least six people, including at least one child, after the home was set ablaze by a suspect who shot and wounded two responding police officers.
The incident began on Wednesday when police officers responded to a home in East Lansdowne, a suburb just west of Philadelphia, after receiving a call that an 11-year-old girl was shot, local officials said.
When police arrived, the suspect opened fire from inside the home, striking two officers, and set fire to the two-story, wood-frame home.
On Thursday, detectives were searching the smoldering scene for six to eight people including children feared to have been inside during the incident, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer told a local Fox News affiliate.
“I think today might be a grim day,” he told Fox 29 in Philadelphia, adding the shooter is expected to be among the dead inside the home.
The fire burned too intensely for firefighters to enter as flames and smoke billowed out of the home, Stollsteimer told reporters on Wednesday.
The two wounded police officers were “doing very well” in the hospital, he said on Thursday, noting that one was wounded in the forearm and the other suffered a wound to his leg.
“We got the thumbs up from them,” said Stollsteimer, the chief prosecutor for the county, which has a population of about 575,000.
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; editing by Christina Fincher)
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