French Firefighter Hit by Gunshot While Responding to Blaze

A firefighter stands in front of a burning car during a demonstration against the French g

A firefighter was rushed to hospital earlier this week after being shot in the leg by an unknown assailant while attempting to put out a car fire on Bastille Day.

The incident took place in the commune of Etampes in a small car park near the Jean-Laloyeau stadium at around 11:30 p.m. A car had been set on fire, and when firefighters entered the area, they were met with gunfire and were forced to flee.

“At the end of the evening, while I was doing my tour, I heard an explosion. When I got out, I saw this car on fire. So I immediately called the fire department,” a local city employee told the newspaper Le Parisien.

The employee also witnessed the attack on the firefighters, saying: “One of them shouted that his colleague had just been shot and that they were taking him to the emergency room. They left, and the police arrived. In the rush, they even forgot their equipment. I put it aside and then they came to get it.”

Local union official Jean-Christophe Cantot reacted to the incident, saying: “The attacks we are experiencing are getting more and more violent.”

According to Le Parisien, attacks on firefighters in the commune are not rare. A man whose cellar was flooded threatened a fire crew with a machete last September.

France’s new interior minister Gérald Darmanin had spoken to the firefighter, saying: “I felt shocked. He also told me that he had also suffered a psychological injury.”

He added that the firefighter told him it was the third attack he had been subjected to in the last ten months and called the incidents unacceptable.

Attacks on firefighters have become common across some regions of France in recent years to the point that the Alpes-Maritimes department went as far at to launch a series of videos asking the public to stop attacking them.

In May, at least 20 people in Strasbourg were arrested after attacking firefighters with various projectiles, including Molotov cocktails.

Last July in the region of Loire-Atlantique, firemen protested violence against them, saying they had been attacked nearly every day for the better part of a month.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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