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Man Found Dead After Barricading Himself In Burning Leominster Home

LEOMINSTER (CBS) -- A man was found dead inside a Leominster home Monday afternoon, hours after State Police said he lit the home on fire and barricaded himself inside.

Police surrounded the Eden Glen Road home with guns drawn, protecting firefighters as they worked to put out the flames.

leominster fire
Officers with long guns protected firefighters as they put out the flames. (WBZ-TV)

Reporters at the scene said they heard what sounded like gunshots, but it wasn't clear where they were coming from.

The Superintendent of Leominster Public Schools sent out a statement saying students were sheltering in place because of a reported active shooter near the CVS store on Central Street. That shelter-in-place order was lifted before 2 p.m.

Leominster Police had gone to the home earlier in the day to serve the man with a civil commitment warrant.

leominster fire
Police surrounded the home on Eden Glen Road while firefighters doused the fire there. (WBZ-TV)

"A Section 35 is done for alcohol abuse or drug abuse because the person has reached the point where they're not capable of caring for themselves, and that's what we were doing here this morning," said Leominster Police Chief Michael Goldman.

Chief Goldman said when officers went to serve the order, glass flew into their faces.

"Something came out the window when the officers attempted to force the door and they withdrew," Chief Goldman said.

Then investigators said the man inside set the apartment on fire. Because police didn't know if that man was armed, State Police STOP teams had their guns trained on the house while firefighters attempted to prevent the blaze from spreading.

leominster fire
Police entered the building via a second-floor window. (WBZ-TV)

A state police negotiator with a bullhorn was calling to a man named Sean inside the house urging him to come out saying things like "your family is here" and "they want to know you're OK."

The man was later found dead on the first floor, possibly overcome from the smoke.

The man's identity has not been released.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Lana Jones reports

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