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Talihina, Oklahoma: Great fire erupts as officers serve warrants



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Updated 11 May 2018 1:15 PM EDT

TALIHINA, Oklahoma – Four soldiers were hit by gunfire or shrapnel while serving a warrant for a man who died later, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. The police described it as a "high-risk search operation" in Talihina, reported the CBS subsidiary KFSM.

The local authorities had asked for help to fulfill the arrest warrant for the man early Friday, said Captain Paul Timmons. The group was immediately struck by rifle fire, followed by a fire that quickly broke out in downtown Talihina, about 1

50 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, according to Timmons. Several buildings were burned in the blaze, and the firefighters were still fighting late Friday morning.

The authorities are investigating whether the house was equipped with booby traps, Timmons said.

"At the moment, we suspect that the building may be damaged with some sort of explosive device that may have triggered the fire," he said.

The man's name was not published. Timmons said he was shot dead and declared that the four soldiers should recover from their injuries.

Local authorities had asked for help from state soldiers to issue a drug-related arrest warrant because the man had a "violent criminal record," Timmons said.

"As soon as they entered, they were hit by a gunfire," Timmons said.

A fifth soldier wearing a bulletproof vest was also hit by firearms, but was not injured. The vest probably saved Tommons the soldier's life.

Eyewitnesses saw that a medical helicopter landed and stood out from the scene. LeFlore County Emergency Management officials told Fort Smith, Arkansas, KHBS television station, that three buildings had caught fire.

Several law enforcement agencies responded to the scene.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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