- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) - Three firefighters and a police officer have been injured while responding to an early morning fire.

The firefighters were trying to contain a fire inside an abandoned building about 4 a.m. Tuesday when a wooden garage collapsed, trapping the firefighters beneath the rubble.

Other firefighters and two Greenwood police officers already on the scene worked to free the men from the burning wreckage. One was airlifted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson with serious injuries. The others were treated at Greenwood Leflore Hospital. Fire Chief Marcus Banks told The Greenwood Commonwealth (http://bit.ly/1ib6lAO ) that one suffered a broken foot and was treated and released; the other had a dislocated hip and was scheduled Tuesday for surgery.

Banks declined to identify them.

One of the policemen early on the scene, Kristopher Hoskins, twisted his knee while helping to pull the firefighters from the debris. Acting Police Chief Ray Moore said he would be fine but would be “hopping around on crutches for a little while.”

The Fire Department initially received the call about the fire at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday and responded with three units. When the wall collapsed, units from all four city fire stations - as well as policemen and Leflore County sheriff’s deputies - responded to help in the rescue efforts.

“I definitely want to send a special thanks to the Greenwood Police Department and the Leflore County Sheriff’s Office,” Banks said. “These men were totally trapped under the rubble. It took a coordinated effort to rescue these men.”

What initially started the blaze in the vacant building was still unclear. Banks said early clues seemed to point to arson, but he said the investigation was just beginning.

Victor Stokes, the city’s fire investigator, was also examining the scene. Banks said the State Fire Marshal’s Office had been contacted and would be dispatching investigators to help identify the cause.

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Information from: The Greenwood Commonwealth, http://www.gwcommonwealth.com