Firefighter Hit By Bullet While Battling Blaze, House Ruled A Total Loss

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By: Kara Duffy
February 19, 2013

Moultrie, GA- Firefighters risk their lives on the job every day; but when flames ripped through a house along 15th Avenue Southwest in Moultrie Sunday afternoon, one firefighter was faced with another obstacle.

Firefighter Jeff Cooper says he was battling the blaze from inside the house when all of the sudden he heard two or three loud popping noises.

He said he then felt a sharp stinging pain on his neck.

Not knowing what hit him, he said he went outside to get checked out by paramedics. That's when they realized he had been hit by a bullet.

"Inside the structure there were several firearms and several boxes of ammunition," said Lt. Justin Cox with the Moultrie Fire Department. "They were exposed to heat and flames and some of the ammunition actually detonated inside the structure."

Firefighters say fortunately Cooper wasn't injured by the brass shell casing. Within minutes he was able to go back to fighting the fire.

"Right now it looks like there was a wood-burning stove that was left burning when the occupants left and it appears the fire originated around the wood-burning stove," said Lt. Cox.

William Massey lives in the house with his brother. He says only a few things survived the blaze.

Massey says even though the material things are gone, he's just thankful nobody was hurt.

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